By Brianna Ahearn, contributing writer
Next time shoppers make a quick trip to certain Rite Aid stores in 2015, they may think they've stepped into a scene from Star Wars when they spot the new technology-enhanced Savings Centers kiosks available. The kiosks, thanks to 3D technology, will project imagery of familiar name brand products, such as Coca-Cola, and are sure to attract some attention. After an initial test of 10 stores in 2013, Rite Aid will soon begin rolling out these 3D-enhanced kiosks to stores in New York and Los Angeles. On December 17, 2014, Provision Interactive Technologies, the company tapped to provide the 3D, announced via press release they had completed their plans for kiosks in 200 stores in these markets. Like something out of a science fiction movie, the kiosks will use 3D technology known as “Holovision,” pioneered by Provision. The kiosks will provide information on brand products and current Rite Aid promotions, while also showcasing products floating above the screen using Holovision.
The kiosks are part of a multi-year deal and will integrate into Rite Aid's wellness + loyalty card. The kiosks will project 3D holographic images in front of the screen, with holograms consisting of familiar products such as soft drinks and foods. An interactive touchscreen option is also available, letting shoppers access information on the kiosk. Provision and Rite Aid have promised consumers can use the touchscreen for information on wellness, current promotions, coupons, product samples and more. A big selling point for Rite Aid appears to be manufacturer's ability to showcase their products with the 3D imagery to a customer, without shoppers needing 3D glasses.
The new 3D kiosks are a sharp departure from those offered by another pharmacy retailer, CVS. CVS's machines, ExtraCare Coupon Centers, are strictly “reward-centric,” where CVS shoppers can scan their reward card, then receive a stream of coupons. At the new Rite Aid kiosks, wellness+ users can scan their card to access account details. They'll also be given the option to load digital coupons onto their card for use in their current shopping trip.
“These kiosks provide convenient access for our wellness-plus members to better maximize the value they can get from our program, providing meaningful savings right at the point of purchase on featured products and services advertised on the Provision network," says Rite Aid's VP of Marketing, Craig Riner.
Provision and Rite Aid will begin the roll out in early 2015, and once the initial 200 stores have received their kiosks, installation is expected in additional stores. Information on brand-name products aren't the only options available on the kiosks, as Provision's President and CEO, Curt Thornton, points out. “They can also access information on local healthcare providers who are advertising their services through our kiosks.”
A quick scan on YouTube shows customers are intrigued by the 3D technology, with several videos shot by Rite Aid customers in pilot stores. The videos include demonstrations of brand campaigns that use a combination of 3D and sound to attract attention in an eye-popping manner. One of the videos, by Technolg TV, features an interview with Thornton.