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Expo Visitors Gain Vision of Ray-Ban Products With Smart Table

The interactive table and touch screen employ LF RFID technology to allow users to place a pair of glasses on a pedestal and view content about them, such as videos and images.
By Claire Swedberg
Aug 16, 2017

Global sunglasses and eyeglasses company Ray-Ban is preparing its second rollout of RFID technology as part of its interactive display at Vision Expo. The technology, provided by Float Hybrid, includes Ray-Ban's Smart Table to link tagged glasses frames with content via an RFID reader built into a pedestal.

The technology was first released at Vision Expo East, held in New York this past spring, where it drew large numbers of interested users, says Keith Bendes, Float Hybrid's marketing and strategic partnerships VP. The next deployment, he says, will be at Vision Expo West, to be held in Las Vegas in September 2017.

Brands and retailers increasingly face challenges when it comes to attracting customers into brick-and-mortar stores and accomplishing sales at those locations. They must complete with online purchasing, Bendes explains, not only available to customers in their homes, but on their smartphones as they shop at physical stores.

Ray-Ban has launched the interactive RFID-based Smart Table as a way to attract attention to its products at expos, while some retailers viewing the technology in action have expressed interest in using it to increase sales of Ray-Ban products within their stores. At the expos, the Smart Table is part of a three-pronged effort. The company sought to communicate new campaigns—such as product launches—to the public, and to help retailers understand and optimize planograms for product displays, as well as allow attendees to learn more about products.

Keith Bendes
As visitors approached Vision Expo East's Ray-Ban exhibit, they could use a touch screen to access information via Float Hybrid software residing on a local server. If they wanted to simply learn more about new products, they could do so on the touch screen itself. They could use the planogram tool to view maps of effective displays of glasses, depending on a store's type and size. The third option offered a look into particular new products with RFID. With this third option, users were invited to pick up a pair of glasses that interested them, and to place those glasses on the RFID-enabled table.

The table consisted of a pedestal into which Float Hybrid built an ID Innovations low frequency (LF) 125 KHz RFID reader. Each of about 100 pairs of glasses on display had an LF RFID tag embedded in the printed hangtag attached to the frame. When a user put the glasses on the pedestal, positioning the frame directly above the reader antenna, the reader captured the unique ID number encoded on that tag. The collected data was forwarded to the server, where Float Hybrid software captured that ID, linked it to content about those glasses and launched that content to be displayed on the touch screen. The user could then select video or other specific information to view. Some of the content included pricing, sizes and styles available for that pair of glasses.

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