Apple has invented a Next-Gen Interactive Product Showcase System to better engage customers at Brick & Mortar Stores
Today the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that relates to a product showcase system, including display fixtures for displaying and promoting products to customers in a retail environment. More particularly, embodiments relate to interactive display fixtures that encourage customers to access, interact with, and learn about different products including for example both hardware- and software-related products.
As illustrated in our cover graphic, an Apple Store customer could check out a future Apple TV or game console by hitting a giant game icon of interest and allow the user to play a demo of the game on the large center display just above the game controllers.
Apple’s invention relates to a display fixture for showcasing products in a retail environment. The display fixture comprising a display surface, dynamic input blocks disposed along the display surface, and a display screen positioned on the display surface next to the dynamic input blocks. Each of the dynamic input blocks displays content associated with a product. In response to a user interaction with one of the dynamic input blocks, the display screen displays content related to the product associated with the content displayed by the one dynamic input block. The content and associated products displayed on the dynamic input blocks automatically change in response to an external input.
Some embodiments described herein relate to a display fixture for showcasing digital games in a retail environment. The display fixture includes dynamic input blocks, each associated with a different digital game, and each of the dynamic input blocks displays dynamic content associated with its associated digital game. The display fixture further includes a display screen positioned next to the dynamic input blocks. Upon a user selection of one the dynamic input blocks, the content of the selected dynamic input block changes to second content associated with its associated digital game, and the display screen displays third content associated with the associated digital game. At least one of the dynamic input blocks can be used to control at least a portion of the third content.
Some embodiments relate to a product showcase system for showcasing products in a retail environment. The product showcase system comprising a display fixture including a display surface and dynamic input blocks shaped as buttons and arranged in a matrix along the display surface.
Each dynamic input block includes a display configured to variably display first and second content associated with one or more of the products in response to user interaction; a lens that protrudes through and out from the display surface such that a perimeter face of the lens is visible, wherein the perimeter face is configured to emit light to highlight the respective dynamic input block; and a sensor configured to detect the user interaction.
The dynamic input blocks may include a call to action (e.g., a quick response (QR) code or link sent directly a user device using near field communication (NFC) technology), which may occur in response to user interaction with the dynamic input block. The call to action may invite yet more user interaction with the products showcased by the dynamic input blocks. For example, the call to action may allow the user to learn more about the product, use a demo of the product, download the product, or invite them to sign up for a subscription service that provides access to the product and other products.
The dynamic input blocks may be large-scale physical manifestations of digital icons. That is, the dynamic input blocks may be shaped to resemble digital icons (e.g., square with rounded corners) and may include images that further give the appearance of digital icons.
The product showcase system further comprising a display screen positioned on the display surface next to the matrix. The display screen is configured to display content related to the one or more products associated with the dynamic input blocks.
Apple’s patent FIG. 3 below introduces a possible future Apple Store interactive showcase system; FIG. 6 shows further user interaction with the dynamic input block of the product showcase system.
Apple’s patent FIG. 10 below shows an example isolated dynamic input block of a product showcase system; FIG. 11 shows an example visual effect of a product showcase system.
For deeper details, review Apple's patent application number 20220192394.
Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.