New solution aims to give digital signage a voice

Audio solutions provider Barix today announced it will bring to Integrated Systems Europe 2014 and the 2014 Digital Signage Expo a new retail solution designed to enhance the shopping experience for consumers and add value for retailers through mobile connectivity and synchronized promotional content.

The company called its new solution unique and said it aims to give the screen a voice, engaging consumers at shopping windows and inside stores through visual content and associated audio streams. A free Barix smartphone app called Barix Audio Point, to be available in traditional app stores, prompts consumers to scan a QR Code for stream access, which provides audio content in synchronization with on-screen video. The combination brings higher awareness to promotions, store branding and other messaging through deeper engagement with shoppers — and addresses the retailer's goal of increasing basket size — the company said.

At ISE 2014 (Feb. 4-6 in Amsterdam) and DSE (Feb. 12-13 in Las Vegas), Barix will demonstrate a complete audio signage solution with screenFOOD, a dynamic in-store merchandising company whose content management system automates audio and video delivery. The Barix solution can work with any digital signage player to achieve this multisensorial approach, with Barix encoding and streaming high-quality audio through access points near each screen. Those access points enable the Wi-Fi connection that delivers audio to mobile devices in harmony with video playing out on screens.

Multichannel audio capacity additionally supports multiple streams, allowing retailers to provide audio signage content in several languages.

According to the announcement, Barix CEO Ronni Guggenheim believes the bring-your-own-device trend in retail makes audio signage a natural step in advancing the customer journey, from redeeming special coupons delivered alongside mobile streams to receiving information about online shopping after stores have closed.

"The act of seeing and listening together raises the grade of perception, and through this solution retailers can give their customers a more complete experience that raises the potential to drive purchases," Guggenheim said.

Pierre Farine, screenFOOD CEO, said in the announcement he believes that this concept advances communication at retail touchpoints to a new level, moving past solitary audio or visual to bring greater context to the shopping environment.

"Good sounding audio helps to focus customer attention and extend their journeys into the mobile universe while on premises," he said. "Overall, this solution breathes new life into visual screen content."