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Epson’s LightScene Projectors Create Immersive Retail Environments

A new series of digital projectors from Epson can help retailers deliver the immersive environments and engaging experiences that today’s shoppers seek in-store.

Dubbed the LightScene EV-100 series, the devices feature a low-profile design suitable to “curated visual environments,” such as a luxury retail showroom or a storefront window display, and can double as a spotlight as needed. They’re similar in size and appearance to track lighting.

The spotlight/projectors represent a step forward in “visual communications innovation,” said Yasunori Ogawa, COO of Epson’s visual products operations division.

Epson tapped creatives in London, New York and Tokyo to develop physical-space concepts incorporating the LightScene projectors. Mark Fleming, chief creative officer for the Rosie Lee creative agency, came up with a “bespoke brand space” that combines motion graphics with projection mapping onto walls, products and even retail display fixtures. Customers in the space he designed can browse prints, patterns and colorways on a tablet and instantly see their favorite design projected onto the shoe next to them, for example.

This concept would enable a retailer to maximize floor space; instead of putting on display every option for each product, the brand simply could feature one of the item and let the LightScene projector do the rest.

By contrast, the “health cave” concept, brainstormed by Shige Aoki of Tokyo’s Aoki Design Corporation, puts the spotlight on the consumer’s environs rather than the product. It envisions a runner on a treadmill surrounded by any number of digitally projected trail environments—similar to what NIKE offers in its experiential SoHo flagship.

“What we need to be doing now in these contemporary installations and retail situations is adding magic, adding something new,” said David Keech, managing director of Keech Design Ltd, in a video about LightScene.

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Indeed, as many retailers embrace the “showroom” concept, offering a thoughtfully presented, boutique-like and well-lit environments will only grow in importance to attract consumers looking for a high-end shopping experience.

Recent months have brought news of the Nordstrom Local concept, which at 3,000 square feet displays hardly a fraction of the merchandise carried in the department store chain’s typical 140,000-square-foot footprint. In such a scaled-down environment, shops like Nordstrom Local rely on high-quality presentation, including lighting, comfortable fitting rooms and more, to appeal to consumers.

What’s more, technology such as the LightScene projectors could aid retailers that want to create the engaging, experiential environments customers are seeking when they choose to leave the comfort of their homes and make a trip to a store. In-store projectors could offer something new and exciting—an experience that customers couldn’t get anywhere else but the retail environment, transforming the store from a transaction point to desirable destination. And amid falling foot traffic at malls, department stores and shops of all stripes, many retailers are actively investigating ways to attract shoppers in the hopes of reversing the retail apocalypse.

The LightScene projectors will be available for purchase beginning in June 2018.