Yes, another 3D post.

Tridelity might be getting 3D right.

Well, when half of CES is about 3D, what do you expect?  Say what I will, it’s still the hottest thing in media right now, so it is perfectly understandable why companies are trying so hard to get it right.  I saw a lot of companies promoting glasses-free 3D and I think one of them may have gotten it right.

Tridelity Display Solutions was showing off tehir autostereoscopic displays at CES.  I can’t see glasses-free 3D due to an eye injury, but a friend who was attending the show with me was pretty impressed.  He’s not easily impressed, so I was impressed that he was impressed, or something like that.  Autostereoscopic displays aim spearate images at the viewer’s right and left eye, with no need for special glasses.  Tridelity’s screens have multiple parallax barriers (an array of slits in front of the screen to ensure that each eye sees only the strips it is meant to) and so can send light from pairs of images in five directions at once, considerably widening the viewing area so that at least five people can enjoy the 3D experience simultaneously.  FYI – I don’t know anybody at Tridelity – they aren’t a client – I don’t own their stock, I just thought they did a good job at CES (even if it was second-hand, so to speak).

I don’t care for 3D TV for the home, but I do think there is a place for 3D displays – especially in-store displays.  I am a firm believer in things that capture attention and have implemented or specified LED, lenticular or digital signage networks over the years, and believe that 3D is a logical next-step.

First, 3D or not, the screen has to be integrated into an overall display.  The display should feature product within easy / immediate reach and fit within it’s surrounding environment.

Second, the content has to be compelling.  Using 3D for 3D sake is lame.  Just like at 3D movies, the novelty of having something appear to leap out at you gets pretty old after awhile.  Really good 3D just creates an immersive experience.  In the case of a display using 3D – it’s more about capturing attention first to draw the user into an immersive experience.  I’m not saying stuff can’t leap out to capture attention – I just suggest that something leaping out not be the only use of the 3D display.  Show the product – show 360 degree views via rotation or highlight the ease of use.

Third, provide a call-to-action.  It’s the same with any display, but when digital screens first hit the market, you would be amazed how many people just put up stuff on a screen and that was it.  If you want people to buy the product – use 3D to point an arrow to the product (not subtle, granted, but you get the idea).  It doesn’t do you any good to have people stop and admire your cool 3D display if they keep going.  You got them to stop thanks to 3D – now get them to do something.

Finally, keep the content fresh.  I can’t believe how many digital displays keep showing the same thing over and over.  No matter how cool the display is, the 100th time I see it, I am going to lose interest.  The frequency with which you change content depends on the frequency of viewing by the intended audience.  If you’re in a grocery store – then it’s pretty safe to assume that a large percentage of shoppers hit that same store once-per-week.  So change the content after 3 weeks or so.

3D is cool – and glasses-free 3D is even cooler (so I am told), but just like any cool technology, it has to be incorporated into an overall marketing strategy – not just tossed out there for the sake of having a 3D screen.  If you think that 3D has a place in your retail environment, then consider using a professional strategic marketing agency to help you maximize your investment.

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