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Tech update: Interactive displays greet guests

Mighty Fine Burgers, Fries and Shakes’ marketing newsletter has taken on a new life and look, thanks to innovative interactive display technology in use at the Austin, Texas-based chain’s three restaurants.

Customers approaching the windows fronting Mighty Fine’s burger preparation areas now are greeted by moving images, like scattering cheeseburgers, on the glass.

Those images give way to colorful displays of information about the chain’s Community Impact program, recycling campaign, fundraising efforts on behalf of Austin Habitat for Humanity and other topics.

Brian Nolen, Mighty Fine co-founder and owner, said the EyeWall technology from EyeClick Ltd. utilized in his company’s restaurants is “a way for our guests to have fun and talk about the brand, other than just the food.”

His partner Ken Schiller added, “We hope our guests can enjoy EyeClick as much as they enjoy our food.”

Interactive display technologies for marketing and entertainment purposes have been on the rise in recent years among some retailers and a handful of restaurant operators, including Hard Rock Cafe and the now defunct uWink media bistro group.

Since September 2009, Orlando, Fla.-based Hard Rock has featured at its three-level, 950-seat Las Vegas “cafe” guest-facing interactive technologies, including Rock Wall, a 14-foot-wide-by-4-foot-high touch-screen interface for manipulating images and videos associated with the chain’s famous memorabilia collection.

Also featured there are seven tables using Microsoft Corp. surface technology that uses cameras to sense objects, touch and hand gestures on or above the 30-inch tabletop display, enabling multiple patrons to launch and navigate custom applications.

Katherine Osteen, a representative of technology supplier EyeClick, which is based in Tel Aviv, Israel, said her company’s EyeWall technology, which detects motion not touch, can be displayed on windows, walls or LCD screens. The company also has a touch-motion system called EyeTouch.

Osteen said EyeClick has developed multiple templates, each with a number of effects that can be used to create content for clients for a fee or with which clients, like Mighty Fine, can integrate their own content.

The technology, which takes only “a few hours” to install, can be augmented by additional tools to create analytic reports about the number and nature of interactions with the system, Osteen said.

To help get the word out about an EyeWall installation and increase its marketing value, she said there is an option that allows people who interact with the technology to share their experience on social networking sites or with users of smart phones and other mobile devices.

Contact Alan J. Liddle at [email protected].

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