By Aimee Chanthadavong

Digital signage has come a long way since the days of when it was just static content on a screen. It now plays a key role in helping retailers enhance the consumer experience in-store, especially in such a mobile driven space.

PRI Research study shows 73 per cent of retailers are either currently evaluating or planning to implement an omnichannel program in the next three years; as part of this plan includes introducing some form of mobile technology as a touchpoint of the shopping experience.

This has spurred tech manufacturer AOPEN and Intel to launch eTILE, a media device that has been built specifically for the retail industry.

eTILE is a multi-purpose 15.6-inch and 19-inch multi-touch PC, based on the third generation Intel Core processor platform, that can be used as an interactive signage or as a point of sale system within a store. It has 3G, 4G and WiFi options, and will be offered in Windows 8 and Android 4.04.

Stephen Borg, AOPEN corporate director of global strategy and market development, said eTILE allows retailers to embrace the digital world.

“Signage is changing in-store,” he said.

“It is s becoming web signage not just flat content or video content. It has become a very rich experience and this AOPEN product combines interactivity and e-commerce assets with what’s happening in-store. So it’s really unifying the omnichannel experience.”

Up until now, retailers who have been looking to engage with consumers on a mobile level have used tablets. However, while they provide a rich experience for consumers the feelings towards them is not quite the same with retailers.

“They hate them due to cost, theft and just their rate of change,” Borg said.

As a result, the eTILE has been designed with six key requirements in mind: ease of installation as it does not need an enclosure or kiosk, aesthetics, low maintenance, security, powerful and is able to provide rich analytics.

Matthew Jones, Intel group manager for industry development and chair of AIIA Retail Special Interest Group, said eTILE will see consumers embrace new in-store digital experiences while providing rich analytics of these interactions back to the retailers.

“This is just another step along the path from dynamic or digital signage to now intelligent signage,” he said.