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Holographic Displays Bring Physical Retail to Life

retail omnichannel

3D holographic displays reinvent in-store digital display technology. In a world where convenience and personalization are no longer just desirable, they are expected, holographic technology provides new and interactive ways for businesses to strengthen their customer relationships while enhancing brand awareness. And thanks to partnerships with companies like Proto, a holographic communications platform OEM, and Wachter, Inc., a leading national IT solutions integrator which is at the helm of implementing advanced solutions for the best customer technology outcomes, it’s now possible to implement these advanced solutions.

“There’s a mindset that 3D technology is either far off in the distance or too costly and too cumbersome to deploy into a scaled retail environment. With Proto and Wachter, we’re able to bring that fully immersive, engaged experience directly to the customer at an affordable cost—without any army of production folks to put it all together,” says Matt Tyler, Director of Strategic Innovation and Business Development at Wachter.

Proto makes it possible with its holographic communications platform that empowers retailers to deliver fully immersive shopping experiences. This innovative technology allows shoppers to touch, explore, and interact with products in ways previously unimaginable. Moreover, it can live-beam in shopping consultants or celebrities, enabling customers to engage in real-time conversations and gain deeper insights into products.

At the core of this transformative experience is Proto’s partnership with Wachter. Leveraging Wachter’s team of digital experts, retailers and businesses can design tailored solutions that address their specific needs and space constraints. With a deep understanding of digital challenges, Wachter empowers clients to unlock the full potential of Proto’s technology, ensuring seamless integration and optimal performance.

Shopping Redefined: The Retail Omnichannel Experience of Your Dreams

These 3D holographic displays are part of a much bigger movement in the retail space called omnichannel experiences. Harnessing built-in AI capabilities, shoppers can now experience a whole new level of interaction within the store environment. They can virtually view products, engage in real-time chats, and receive personalized recommendations tailored to their individual preferences and inquires. This not only enhances the experience but also enables shoppers to make more-informed purchasing decisions.

Harnessing built-in #AI capabilities, shoppers can now experience a whole new level of #interaction within the store environment. @WachterInc via @insightdottech

Additionally, for retailers, integration of AI mitigates risks associated with carrying higher-cost inventory. By understanding virtual product views and tailored recommendations, retailers can optimize inventory management strategies while effectively meeting customer demand.

“We’ve been thinking a lot about how we can streamline the retail process to be truly omnichannel—specifically in situations where businesses want to test new, high-value products where the inventory cost might not be justified in every store,” says Tyler. “How do you display that inventory without having to show it on the floor, and how do you educate your customer about the product?”

Proto recently announced the latest iteration of its holographic communications platform, the Proto M, a 21-inch display designed to be more accessible and affordable for retailers to implement (Figure 1). Retailers can display the Proto M on cosmetic and jewelry counters, for example, or even on shelves. Target, a general merchandise retailer, recently put the power of Proto M technology on display, live-beaming in a celebrity during the holiday season to entertain and educate customers to purchase specific products.

Proto M display with picture of a pair of women's boots.
Figure 1. The Proto M features versatile mounting options to give businesses the perfect view for their content. (Source: Proto Hologram)

For retailers and brands looking to deliver life-size experiences, Proto also offers Proto Epic, a standalone seven-foot unit powered by Intel® processors for performance and Intel® RealSense cameras for computer vision capabilities. The cameras can capture high-fidelity analytics about shopping behavior to inform business decision-making.

Empowering 3D Holograms Through Technology Partnerships

Proto’s patent-pending technology eliminates the need for 3D capture, making it easier and more cost-efficient to perform content creation through a single 4K SLR camera. The partnership with Wachter is crucial to providing the necessary expertise to bring these solutions to life.

Wachter delivers a full lifecycle, end-to-end solution, including proper analysis, design, engineering, installation, and maintenance to even the most difficult scenarios. The company can walk customers through the entire process—from creation to management, delivery, and playback of interactive hologram content. To ensure the success of deployments, Wachter verifies the power, network, and infrastructure—whether it’s just one deployment or a fleet of deployments across various locations.

“To take a product like Proto to market at scale, you need a partner that understands the entire managed-service ecosystem surrounding the product. Wachter has the depth and reach to go out and physically deploy the products, make sure all the infrastructure is in place so the entire system can operate properly,” says Tyler. “It just ends up being a winning team.”

Beyond Products: Holographic Experiences Reshape the Future

Expanding beyond retail, Wachter and Proto bring 3D hologram experiences across many industries. For example, in higher education, the technology can be used to beam in guest lecturers or beam out professors to multiple campuses. In stadiums, it can provide the ultimate fan experience. Even in manufacturing, this technology can bring in overseas experts to help perform maintenance of systems. But no matter the solution, businesses can trust and rely on Wachter to bring their ideas into reality.

“We’re taking digital displays beyond a screen to a truly unique, one-of-a-kind omnichannel experience that blends the physical with the digital,” says Tyler.

This article was edited by Georganne Benesch, Editorial Director for

About the Author

Christina Cardoza is an Editorial Director for Previously, she was the News Editor of the software development magazine SD Times and IT operations online publication ITOps Times. She received her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Stony Brook University, and has been writing about software development and technology throughout her entire career.

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