Retail technology labs provide an opportunity to showcase the latest innovations and help customers grow their business. Critical to increasing sales is for stores and operations to reflect the digital revolution. Therefore, it’s important that these products are presented to capture customers’ attention and encourage purchases.
Microsoft Retail Experience Center Redmond, WA Redmond, WA-based Microsoft® opened its Retail Experience Center in 2009 to offer business clients customized demonstrations of the company’s latest products and the opportunity to try out this new technology. The 23,000-square-foot facility houses a fully functioning, interactive store environment. Representing a blend of Microsoft’s merchandising efforts as a consumer goods company and its solution capabilities as a technology provider for the retail industry, the Center is part of Microsoft’s ongoing investments in exploring how technology-driven innovations can enhance consumers’ lives and shopping experiences.
Upon entering Microsoft’s Retail Experience Center lobby, clients and visiting executives first see a screen that displays the company’s latest innovative products. Surprisingly, this high-tech company showed this information on just a 70” TV screen, similar in quality to what might be in someone’s home.
Marty Ramos, Microsoft’s chief technology officer for retail, consumer products and services, operates Microsoft’s flagship Retail Experience Center and is always on the lookout for technologically advanced products, particularly something that could present Microsoft’s innovations in the best light. Ramos knew that using a consumer-quality TV screen wasn’t the most effective medium for highlighting their products.
Recently, Ramos attended the Nation Retail Federation show (NRF) where a high-resolution LED display caught his attention. Upon walking into the booth, he learned the product was manufactured by California-based Optec Displays, Inc., and was given a demonstration about the Opt-Panel Ultra-HD indoor LED display.
After researching the product further, he knew this was perfect for Microsoft’s Retail Experience Center.
“Customers have high expectations when they come to our Retail Experience Center so it’s critical that their first impression is compelling, which is exactly why I selected the Opt-Panel,” commented Ramos.
The LED display is front-mounted to a pedestal so customers can look at it from many angles. “The Opt-Panel is so unique and technologically advanced, we even want our customers to see this as well as our products because this might be a technology solution in their retail businesses,” added Ramos.
Microsoft’s LED display measures seven-feet diagonally, has a 1.58mm pixel pitch, with a module size of 13.5 inches high x 24 inches wide x 2.95 inches deep. The display measures 40.5 inches high x 72 inches wide.
Ramos is impressed with Opt-Panel’s 281 trillion colors and the 3000:1 contrast ratio, features that show their products in uniform brightness and flawless color.
While the Opt-Panel is engineered to be viewed in very bright settings, such as an auditorium, Ramos selected it because he knew that if the screen is vibrant enough to be in a facility like that, it would be perfect for Microsoft’s needs. Additionally, the new direct-view LED display is an astounding five times brighter than the TV screen the Retail Experience Center was previously using.
“Our customers think the sign is very engaging; many even touch it because images on a direct view LED video display appear to be 3D,” said Ramos.
The benefits of Optec’s direct view LED displays are the scalability to any size or shape, and its excellent optimal characteristics that make video wall content look great from any angle. The ultra-high-resolution display ensures that Microsoft’s content is delivered with maximum impact.
The Opt-Panel technology is the same as found in stadiums, auditoriums, TV broadcast studios and command-center rooms, which require display panels with high resolution, and bright, vivid images.
“We wanted a ‘wow factor’ when customers entered the Retail Experience Center. The Opt-Panel certainly met this objective. We couldn’t be more pleased with how it shows our latest products,” concluded Ramos.
The Opt-Panel is the future of seamless LED displays. Its bezel-free design maximizes the visual display area and creates a clean, continuous optical experience.