We’ve all seen passive digital signage where the flow of information is in one direction only. These are the digital displays in restaurants, digital bulletin boards on school campuses or digital information displays in corporate offices. While compelling and entertaining, they do not engage audiences directly.

Then we have touch screens. Consumers already have high expectations and have placed increased importance on touch technologies. From tablets to smartphones to getting digital content via your car, the relationship between technology and people has had a major impact on how information is shared. This trend gave birth to interactive digital signage via touch. Consumers are more likely to respond to digital signage if they can interact with it in the same way that they interact with the devices they use everyday.

But what about gesture-based digital signage? How about using your own body as a controller? The Open Foodservice Systems Consortium (OFSC) collaborated with Intel and Tokyo Electron Device Limited to test interactive digital signage using Kinect for Windows. OFSC is a consortium of food service businesses and IT vendors that seek to standardize information systems and infrastructure that underpin business operations for food service companies. The Sales and Promotion Working Group, one of OFSC’s 8 working groups, hypothesized that they could better attract customers by using interactive digital signage that reacts to their movements.

They fitted a digital signage display with Kinect for Windows, and when it detected someone approaching, the screen would display a promotional video. When the person got closer, the system would give them two beverage choices. The customer would then pick using gestures e.g raise right or left arm to indicate their choice. An audio guidance function was also added to the set up, and it included audio effects such as drinks being poured into a glass.

OFSC found that the number of customers stopping to interact with the display increased day by day. This customer interest in gesture-based interactive digital signage shows that they are willing and want to engage with brands they frequent. It is often such unique experiences that customers recall even more than the service they received or the product they purchased. These little details are what foster customer loyalty. They add value to the customer’s visit, and make them feel good about not only making the purchase, but making the purchase from you.

The performance and maintenance of the OFSC’s digital signage implementation were key in the success of the test. Intel provided the technology that allowed OFSC to perform operations such as diagnosis and repair remotely. The ability to access the digital signage set up even when it was turned off made administration more efficient and fast. Intel’s technology also provided device security, by locking functions to unauthorized access.

So what’s next? With the digital signage market projected to grow at 65% in 2015 alone, it’s more than likely that gesture-based digital signage will be arriving soon at a business near you, and we can only look forward to far more interesting customer experiences.