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SmartTable Supplies Nygard Customers With Product Info

The Canadian retailer is piloting an RFID-enabled system in its Toronto store that provides details about a garment whenever a shopper picks it up.
By Claire Swedberg
Jun 21, 2006Canadian retailer Nygard International is piloting an RFID-enabled system in its Toronto store that displays product information on a video screen. The SmartTable, provided by digital signage maker GFX Dynamics, allows the store to provide details about an item of clothing as shoppers pick it up for a closer look. The store installed the system in the fall of 2005.

"The goal of this pilot is to refine the technology prior to rollout," says Alan Brask, GFX Dynamics' vice president and general manager. The end of the pilot period has yet to be determined.

Alan Brask
With the SmartTable, the store can present details such as the size, price or design of the product, as well as suggest accessories or other clothing items to accompany it. Nygard is currently using only one SmartTable and screen in a fashion department at the front of its store.

The Nygard SmartTable consists of a table holding a ThingMagic Mercury3 reader and a computer, another table with merchandise and, above that, an LCD screen displaying product information. Nygard employees attach 13.56 MHz RFID tags compliant with the ISO 15693 standard to the merchandise being tracked in the pilot.

The tags' ID numbers are mapped to particular stock-keeping units (SKUs) and held in the system's database. Tags are assigned a category such as blouse or pants, and content associated with the tag is changed to match the merchandise currently on display. The RFID tags are removed and reused at the time Nygard merchandise is purchased.

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