Westfield Garden State Plaza brings digital technology to physical world

New York -- Westfield Garden State Plaza, in Paramus, N.J., is merging the digital experience with the physical one. The shopping center has installed a series of 7-ft. tall, ultra-high definition touch-screen displays, called “digital storefronts,” in its just-opened, two-floor Fashion District wing, which adds 22 new stores and restaurants to the mall. To see photos of the screens, click here.

The interactive displays, a new initiative from Westfield Group’s Westfield Labs division, provide high-quality, larger-than-life visual images of new products offered by retailers at the center. The low profile dual-sided interactive displays feature a high-resolution LCD with capacitive touch technology concealed within. The contiguous mirrored surface makes the technology transparent while reflecting architectural and design elements in the surrounding environment.

With a swipe of a finger, shoppers can browse and rotate through the curated product collections on the displays, zooming in on the details and even getting a 360-degree view. If requested, the screen can also display a map that shows exactly where a particular product is located in the mall.

Among the participating retailers are Nordstrom, Michael Kors, Ann Taylor, Sandro, Vince Camuto, Microsoft, Bose and more.

Westfield first piloted digital storefronts last November, during the 2013 holiday season, at San Francisco Centre. The storefronts were a partnership between Westfield Labs and eBay Inc.

“At Westfield Labs, we want to define what the future of retail will look like through social, mobile and digital innovations,” Kevin McKenzie, global chief digital officer, Westfield Group, said when the San Francisco pilot was announced last November. “For our first pilot, we are excited to partner with eBay Inc. and brands that are pushing the boundaries of online and offline retail to showcase new technology that redefines shopping. This is just a window into the types of technologies Westfield Labs will be launching in our international markets to provide people with memorable shopping experiences.”

In the San Francisco Centre application, there were three screens, with one devoted to Sony, another to Toms, and another to Rebecca Minkoff. Shoppers just had to touch the glass to begin shopping. After selecting items, they were able to proceed to checkout by pushing the order to their mobile phone and pay with PayPal, including guest checkout with credit or debit card.

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