Tagged and Delivered: RFID Delivers for AVA AG

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Smart point media AG designed a network of screens in German department store AVA AG, linked to a system that tracks shoppers through RFID tags within shopping carts to record shopping habits and measure ad effectiveness. The system combines TV, Internet, RFID, databases, and software under one umbrella, enabling the direct link between advertising and consumer analysis on site. The system impressively pushes sales and can instantly pinpoint the effectiveness of televised commercials with scientific accuracy based on a consistent method for data ascertainment.

When the customer makes his way through the supermarket, the system can trace and individually identify his RFID-tagged shopping cart. At the time when shopping cart No. 12345 is identified by an "impulsTV" screen, the system reacts instantly with a commercial that is especially meant for this place, this time, and this screen. In the next step, the system stores all communication events demanded by the shopping cart in a special dataset called "CLOG" (e.g., shopping cart No. 12345 has received a spot for Coca Cola at 12:45:31 PM at impulsTV No. 8; a spot for McDonalds at 12:46:17 PM at impulsTV No. 4; a spot for Kit Kat at 12:48:29 at impulsTV No. 3, etc.). The CLOG will be closed when the cashier rings up the first product from the conveyor. Then the sales slip is created and its data is stored. In the last step the system software individually combines CLOGs with the right sales-slip datasets. Now the job is done and the system is able to answer individually and accurately questions such as: What has the customer seen and what has he bought? How long has the customer been in the market? Are there hot spots and cold spots in the market?

The current all-time record of impulsTV was established in January 2005, when Carl Kühne GmbH & Co KG started an advertising campaign for their dipping sauces on impulsTV in the Marktkauf store situated in Wesseling. The result was an octuple (!) raise in sales.

THE AVA AG SYSTEM CONSISTS OF:

  • 42-inch Plasma Screens
  • 2.45 GHz-based RFID Reader and Tags for identification of shopping carts. The system features long-range identification; lifetime up to 10 years irrespective to its use
  • Shuttle PCs equipped with an Intel Pentium IV-based CPU running Windows XP Professional for multimedia playback
  • 19-inch Server unit equipped with an Intel Pentium IVbased CPU currently running Linux (will be switched to Windows XP soon)
  • Linux-based embedded micro controller for managing and filtering the communication between managing services and RFID devices via LAN interface
  • 100 Mbit-based Ethernet LAN
  • DSL Modem for Internet access to receive content files from a central server
  • Suse Linux for hosting all required server applications and services
  • A self-developed controlling software to supervise the communication between all sever and client application through TCP/IP-based protocols to enable processes like the emitting of interactive content through the clients and the real-time logging and analyzing of recorded activity data
  • Microsoft Windows XP and special viewer software, which was developed in cooperation with Net Display Systems on the basis of the Public Area Display System (PADS) to playback and combine a massive variety of digital multimedia content such as videos, sounds, Webcompatible formats (HTML, Flash, SVG, or Java-based applications) with the option to database linkage
  • Embedded Linux running RFID driver
  • Self-developed management applications for the semiautomated planning and distribution of multimedia content
  • Remote access service for control and maintenance purposes


PROJECT DATES:

  • Pilot-Installation: August/September 2003 in Wesseling (Germany)
  • Test-phase: September-December 2003
  • Commercial use started January 1, 2004
  • Further 20 stores with 115 impulsTVs were equipped from Q4/2004 to Q4/2005


FOR MORE INFORMATION:
smart point media AG
Kalscheurener Straße 19, Atelier 12
Hürth, Germany, NRW50354
Phone: (+49) 2233-71 77 0
Fax: (+49) 2233-71 77 77

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