Taiwanese electronics manufacturer AOPEN is opening a multi-million-dollar laboratory in Melbourne to showcase the future of shopping and retail technology, from transparent displays and digital labels to virtual touchscreens and waiter-less restaurants. The world-first Gen2 Retail Evolution Lab in Australia is the next generation of AOPEN’s Retail Experience Labs, which are already installed in Taipei, Shanghai, California’s Silicon Valley, Amsterdam, Tokyo, Brazil, London and Italy.
Retailers can touch, see and experience “best of breed” digital sign technology at the flagship Gen2 lab, which features hospitality and government services as well as retail. Partners include PayPal, Intel, Nuon, and Red, as well as POS innovation and analytics specialists. Foundation clients in Australia include tier-one supermarket chains, Super Cheap Auto, Bunnings and Laminex.
AOPEN CEO Stephen Borg said the aim was to show how digital could propel traditional retail and drive sales. “In-store retail is all about experience, and the Gen2 Lab will be a permanent place where retailers can design custom stores with the latest in retail technology,” he said. “Using digital signage, touch devices and facial recognition and sensory technologies they can bring the best of the web in-store, enhance customer experience and counter showrooming by supporting sales conversions.”
Some of the futuristic technology on display includes a café window turned into a touchscreen, for pre-ordering and pre-paying; a glass projection touchscreen demonstrating 24/7 access to a fashion retailer; and a glossy magazine video wall.
AOPEN will also be running ongoing masterclasses, drawing on global experts to bring in what it claims is best-in-class thinking on in-store experience and omni-channel marketing to retailers.