Gap is experimenting with a new way to stop passersby — with Whispering Window ‘invisible audio’ displays from FeONIC Technology.
Following a 2011 test at Gap's flagship store in Rome, new window displays at the brand's flagship stores in London, Paris, Rome and Milan are showcasing its current Be Bright 'Denim Moves You' campaign, convert the window surface into a speaker projecting the sound from a video showcasing American 'jookin' dancer Lil' Buck.
Produced in partnership with London-based creative digital agency Signal Noise, the displays feature six 46-inch LCD screens with the speakers placed behind window vinyl graphics making the installation discreet and unobtrusive.
Whispering Window technology uses glass mounted surface transducers to transform the window into a vibration speaker distributed evenly across the surface, and the display can remain intact for weeks or years (swapping in/out different promotional items).
After launch, FeONIC encouraged passerby to see and hear for themselves. “The reaction to date has been really positive, the attached images don’t really do justice to the dynamic, attention grabbing nature of a FeONIC Whispering Window. So if you’ve a chance, please head down to Oxford Street and see the window for yourselves,” noted FeONIC after launch.
The material, originally developed for sonar devices by the US Navy, is a ‘smart’ product that changes shape in a magnetic field and the force makes structures vibrate. FeONIC Technology launched in 2004 and its ‘invisible audio’ products include the SoundBug2, Presenter Pro, F1 series and the Whispering Windows range for retail and commercial environments.
“With vibrations less than the width of a human hair you can turn any surface into a speaker resulting in high quality immersive sound without aesthetic compromises,” explains the website.
“Independent research has shown engaging propositions delivered by a whispering window can lift sales by up to 50% when compared to a silent window,” notes FeONIC.
Previous tests of the Whispering Window technology (which FeONIC has claimed increases sales by up to 40 percent) include retail displays by Hush Puppies, Selfridges (including a Christmas 2011 installation), and a high street art installation with Robert Jarvis.
It's certainly one way to close the gap: with cutting edge technology, stopping potential customers in their tracks.