One of the latest technologies to offer retailers and advertisers a new market opportunity is digital floor technology. Already a highly developed means of product marketing in the US, it seems that the UK may soon be following the floor promotions trend. Flasma, Britain’s pioneer of the new medium provides a product believed unique to these shores. ‘In-the-floor’ graphics use floor-set 40’ LCD television screens to promote products and services, and provide useful information for shoppers – enabling retailers to communicate with customers before they even reach a store’s front door. Not limited to use as just a valuable advertising space within retail environments, Flasma can also offer a public service, such as directing passengers through transport terminals or guiding the public to safety during the evacuation of a public building.
The idea evolved three years ago and the path to its development led to many initial challenges from a technical point of view, including having to develop a method for installing screens in floors that would be cost-efficient, low-maintenance and durable, Several years of intensive development and trials using a range of devices, from driving a three tonne truck over the screen to endurance testing with yogurt and liquids, have resulted in Flasma’s design being easy to install, water resistant and robust, built to withstand the busiest public environments. With depths of the complete assembly currently below 200mm it is believed the screens will get even thinner and 135mm depths will be sufficient before long. The basis of the installation is a stainless steel box fixed into the floor. Inside are systems for cooling, heating and ventilation, with electrical and communication supplies fed in through the side or from underneath. The screen drops in on top and plugs into the gadgetry below. The construction is completed by a sheet of three-way laminated glass on top and covered in a special film, which makes it slip resistant and protects the glass. Flasma screens can display anything from anywhere in terms of content supply and delivery including CDs, DVDs and dedicated media players. The screens can even display up-to-the-minute news flashes as and when required!