Speculating on Multi-Screen Possibilities


I recently stumbled upon a great digital marketing podcast by the guys at Target Internet. This particular episode discussed five useful digital marketing tools of which all are fantastic; I highly recommend both listening to the podcast and checking all the tools out (I’m actually learning Spanish as a result!).

However, the tool that most caught my attention was from the guys at Chrome Experiments, those incredibly clever people whipping up the codes of the future. On today’s agenda? Multi-screening, and it involves showing us what’s possible with just a QR scanner and a web browser.

So before I begin speculating on the practical applications of this technology, go check out this great little experiment. Don’t worry,  I’ll wait.


Cool, right? Well, in the podcast Daniel Rowles (a bit of a hero of mine) speculated on the applications of this technology. He says that it could be used in football stadiums, where QR codes are placed around the stadium (on chairs, match programs etc) then users could interact with the large screen in the stadium to vote for man of the match or other in-play options. It’s a good idea, but I want to take it a bit further.

In the age of context, personalization is massive and privacy is a contentious issue. It’s a bit of a catch-22 for me but Millennials are far more comfortable with the value exchange, data in return for utility, and this is what sparked my always functioning idea machine into overdrive. The possibilities of both the emerging technology and developing user behaviour in a digital world.

So I had two different applications for two different industries and hopefully you guys get involved and comment with your own applications for this technology, and what you think of the two following examples.

The Fussy Eater

So my first application is for the hospitality industry, restaurants in particular.

Imagine you and your friends were walking through a city, perhaps even a foreign city, and you wanted to lunch. You stumble upon a great looking restaurant, you’re undecided and are not too keen on the idea of fumbling through the reviews on TripAdvisor.

How useful would it be, using your smartphone with your personalised data, if you could quickly scan a QR code and flick through a visual menu on a large screen for your friends to decide upon if this is the right restaurant for you. After all, it’s highly likely that none of you speak the language so these images, or possibly translations of the menu, could be a quick and easy way of making your decision.

The situation could be the majority of your friend group isn’t particularly fussy on where you eat but one of your friends is allergic to gluten, they could bring up a menu that showed all the gluten-free options, or vegetarian, vegan or any other food requirement that the personal data stored in your phone.

It could also be in-store, built into tables or at the bar waiting to be served. Then you could incorporate all of the other information from TripAdvisor or other service rating sites, this information would show possibly on a deal they’d received on a meal or who to ask for to get the best customer service.

The Manikin Selfie

So my second example is the fashion industry. Burberry have a fantastic offering in-store based around RFID scanners, but again I wanted to take this further.

So maybe you’re shopping with some friends and your smartphone knows your sizes through personalised data, perhaps you could ask a friend to take a particular photo of you (prompted by an in-store example, which I’m calling a ‘manikin selfie’), you scan a QR code and the screen display all of the clothes in your size, that then allows you to chop and change variations of different outfits. Once you’ve found a few things you like, maybe you could then go try them on.

Understandably, the images of the clothes would need to be relative to the ‘manikin selfie’ image but perhaps this would be the norm for fashion designers when displaying their clothes in this way? That is true speculation. What has influenced these ideas is the simplicity and low-cost way these ideas could be implemented.

Accessible Ideas

When you think about these ideas, think about this. All that has been required from the users point of view is their smartphone, of which have a QR reader, or can access one in a matter of seconds. Then, once the technology displayed in the experiment is rolled out, all that is required of the business owner is a screen that displays a web browser. This reduces the need for multiple interfaces and consolidates the requirements to just the possession of a smart phone, the only interface required for the ideas to work.

I like these ideas because of their ubiquitous applications, their use of personalised data and their low-cost implementation (provided the technology is there).

Anyways, just some speculation on the possibilities of this technology. I would love to see if you have your own ideas or could expand on those above.


2 responses to “Speculating on Multi-Screen Possibilities

  1. Adam, I had a trip to our local hospital today with my son and I think I have found a practical application for the tech in your post.

    The hospital is newly refurbished and has electronic info boards dotted all around to direct patients waiting to their correct areas.

    You could simply scan a QR code on your appointment letter (or email) to book in to the hospital. You could then use your phone to navigate the corridors based on your phone location to the room/ward for your appointment. All the information is personalised and delivered to your smartphone whilst in the local hospital area.

    Waiting times could be fed directly to your phone for your appointment. You can visit the toilet or grab a coffee knowing you wont miss your appointment.

    Doctors could use the tech on the screens above every bed to flick through x-rays and other medical tests/results.

    You could go mad and introduce a QR code on car park tickets, scan the ticket when you buy it and your smartphone tells you when your ticket ends.

    I could go on about the various uses of the QR codes and the tech in your post in hospitals 🙂

    I love tech! I love how old tech can be used to solve new problems as well as using new tech to solve old problems. )

    It simply requires some inspiration and innovation in applying tech to solving problems and making our lives easier.

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