7-Eleven Goes Holographic in Japan
7-Eleven are making their customers’ day a little more awesome with holographic self-service checkout machines in Japan.
Remember when holograms were a sci-fi effect relegated only to movies? Well, now they are not only a reality, but they’re available at your fingertips, literally.
When Joe Thompson Junior, the Founder of 7‑Eleven, said “Give the customers what they want, when and where they want it” he really meant it. He provided customers with the world’s first convenience store, introduced 24/7 opening hours, served the world’s first coffee-to-go, and of course, created one of 7-Eleven's most well-known proprietary brands, the Slurpee®. Over 11.6 million of these frozen drinks are consumed around the world each day!
Image courtesy of 7-Eleven
Since the inception of 7-Eleven, the stores have continually been on a mission to make their customers' day a little more awesome by delivering fast, personalized convenience - when, where and how they want it. Even with rapidly changing customer demands, 7-Eleven has always stepped up to the challenge of bringing new ideas and products to delight anyone that walks through their doors. They listen to what customers want, then deliver it.
But what do customers want?
Incredible In-store Experiences
In a modern world, customers want far more than a full tank of gas and a soda on the run. Customers expect a fantastic in-store experience. Today, 7-Eleven is delighting their customers with trials of holographic self-service checkout kiosks in Japan.
Besides the wow-factor, these machines also provide customers with what they don’t want: touching of public surfaces. The holographic checkouts offer a totally touch-free experience whereby customers scan their goods, then finalize their purchase by simply poking the air to interact with the holographic display. Payment is also accepted by cashless methods, such as credit cards, e-money cards and QR codes.
Aerial displays have previously debuted in hotel receptions, offices and in digital signage, but 7-Eleven is the first to adopt holography for point-of-sale cash registers. The stores will monitor the use of the registers during the pilot rollout in six locations across Tokyo to verify their effectiveness. They believe this new shopping experience will not only delight customers, but also create sales opportunities by saving space at the cashier counter and provide enhanced safety with the completely contactless checkout process.
We can’t help but wonder: Is this the start of a new normal?
How it Works
A common question asked by curious customers is, how does it work? Despite being projected into midair, the display is incredibly crisp and responsive, even in bright day light. The holographic technology uses mirrored projection plates which are positioned at specific angles under the countertop to redirect light emanating from hidden LCD displays to create a floating image. Interaction with the floating image is made possible by Neonode’s Touch Sensor Modules, which use infrared lasers to detect ‘touches’ when a user interacts with different areas of the interface. Input is then handled in the same way as a touch panel, making user adoption essentially seamless.
Image from Toshiba, co-developer of the Digi-POS kiosk
Want to know more about in-air interactivity? We’d be happy to discuss, but first we’re off to get a Slurpee.