Innovative Digital Display Mat creates New Advertising Medium
By Mike Hanlon
November 22, 2005
November 23, 2005 The IntelliMat is a wireless computer embedded in a very thin mat made of a lightweight thermoplastic alloy with four LCD screens, creating a 30-inch diagonal display with full multi-media capability. IntelliMat is 1.5cm thick and designed to be used on the floor in retail environments to deliver multimedia and TV-quality advertisements with the potential to interact with customers. Most appealing about the IntelliMat is that it delivers these messages to consumers in environments where wall space is limited or in front of products where consumers are in a position to buy.
The IntelliMat was developed by The Egg Factory, an organization dedicated to the creation and development of significant consumer and industrial innovations. The company creates transformational technology and global innovative solutions and then sells or licenses them to Fortune 500 companies, and private equity firms for their commercialisation.
IntelliMat also captured the attention of hundreds of other components makers, audiovisual system integrators and point of purchase marketing firms at its recent debut at InfoComm 2004, the leading professional conference for digital signage companies and component makers. IntelliMat addresses the needs of retailers whose store’s offer limited space and brand advertisers who are becoming increasingly dissatisfied with TV advertising.
Traditional television advertising has become more expensive and less effective with the emergence of technologies such as TIVO, digital video recorders, and hundreds of cable channels that enable consumers to channel surf or avoid commercial messages altogether via time-shifting or pre-recording.
According to Investor's Business Daily, the share of dollars spent by advertisers on network TV could drop by half over the next few years. Point of sale digital media such as IntelliMat will likely benefit as advertisers look for more effective advertising media. Advertising industry sources indicate the average cost for television advertising is $21 to reach 1,000 viewers as compared to about $6.95 to reach the same number of viewers with IntelliMat in a supermarket where consumers are ready to buy.
The IntelliMat builds on the success of static floor advertising first launched in the early 1990s. Because of its position on the floor, IntelliMat does not displace products on shelves – or force consumers to look at TVs hanging from the ceiling. It lies in the consumer’s natural line of vision and easily provides information to influence buying decisions. IntelliMat delivers a personal rather than a broadcast communication because it is in an individual’s “personal space.”
“Marketers are trying to gain a competitive advantage by reaching consumers where the purchase decision is actually made. According to leading industry experts, 75 percent of consumers make their final decision in the store,” said Jim Currie, president and CEO. “I have been surprised by the number of companies interested in discussing exclusive rights to use IntelliMats to gain that edge.”
IntelliMat is the product of IntelliMats LLC, a new company formed to manufacture and market the mats after extensive market research proved the mat was a powerful advertising tool. Prototypes were successfully tested last year at the Sony Store in New York City, Kroger stores in Virginia, an international trade show with Nike and charity events. The first IntelliMats, now being manufactured, will be delivered next week.
IntelliMats LLC is led by an experienced team, including Currie, an executive who previously led start-ups that included Rapid Refund, Borrowers Choice and RFID Solutions. He also served as general counsel of Fortune 500 companies. Tom Douglas, who oversees the technical development for IntelliMat, is the company’s senior vice president of technology and strategy. He developed and managed operational infrastructure for IBM Global Service Network Outsourcing. Both executives leapt at the opportunity to lead this independent company after working on its product development and testing.
According to Debra Saunders, director of marketing and sales, “Interest in IntelliMats is keen among well-recognized consumer brands, retailers and advertising agencies. In addition, there has been a large amount of unsolicited interest from foreign companies wanting to sell and distribute IntelliMats in their countries.”
The company’s Web site, www.intellimat.com, currently is under construction.