Retail Projection Concepts

Using projectors in a commercial space is kind of a new concept. Especially during the day, and in lit spaces. In fact, we don’t know of anyone else who is pursuing this avenue as actively as we are. Unfortunately this means that a lot of people just aren’t aware of what we can achieve, and how we do it.

That’s why we have put together this concept video. HD VERSION HERE. It showcases just a few of the possibilities and hopefully gives you a better understanding of how we can help you to enhance your premises.

If you want to learn more, keep reading for some practical information. It will explain the basics of the techniques we use, and what you need to know to implement them.

Digital projectors aren’t exactly new, but up until very recently, their use in permanent installations has been hindered by bulb life and running costs. This is no longer the case, due to the advent of some pretty nifty new technologies.

This, combined with clever perspective tricks, and thinking outside the box…. well…. you get the video above.

Where to place a projector
In traditional situations, a projector is placed directly in front of a screen to ensure the image is square. This is obviously not practical, or aesthetically appealing, in most commercial spaces. People can walk in front of the image and interrupt the graphics, interfere with the projector, or even be blinded by the light.

In most cases, moving a projector to a position that avoids these problems will badly distort the image and any graphics being shown. This however, is exactly what we do.

Projector placement

With the addition of some tricky image manipulation, we can ensure that the final projected image is correct, no matter where the projector is placed or what we are projecting onto. This means that projectors can now be installed inside bulkheads, ceiling mounted, or even built into cabinetry.

Perspective Correction

To put it simply, as long as the projector can ”see“ the screen area, then we can make the graphics look correct.

Flat screens old. Shapes and multi surfaces new..
This is an important mindset to get into. Realistically, if someone just wants to show images or video in a square space, then we generally recommend they use a plain old TV.

Alternative Light Source

Projectors offer you a freedom that TV’s can’t, and we take advantage of that. They not only allow a much bigger “screen”, but they can also be used on multiple surfaces at the same time – whole regions of a space, foregrounds and backgrounds, around corners, multiple support columns, walls and floors, even transparent surfaces. These can all be illuminated individually or at the same time. Combine this with our perspective correction techniques and we can generate some very unique design solutions.

If we can illuminate it, then we can be creative with it.

But the lights are on. Projectors wont work!?
This is one of the main concerns we hear from clients, but the reality is, they are surprisingly effective.

We have done a lot of experimenting in lit environments with the aim to develop solutions suitable for the inside of shopping centres and commercial spaces. Now, we have a full toolkit of techniques and graphic solutions that are ideal for lit spaces. Consider it a whole new palette for designers.

Projector Use in Lit Environments

In addition, projectors can also be used as an alternative to traditional lighting and provide interesting lighting solutions.

Downlights Created Using Projectors

Admittedly, you are not always going to be able to project large, full contrast video in lit environments, but that is not particularly relevant to most retail spaces. We can be much more creative than that.

Up until very recently projectors had one major flaw. And that was bulb life. It is not uncommon to replace the bulb in a standard projector every 2000-3000 hours (5-10 months based on a 10 hour work day). These cost upwards of $300 each.

This in no longer the case. For about $2000, you can now buy a long life, and “more energy efficient” projector that has an operating life of 20,000 hours. That’s about 5.5 years with no bulbs to replace.

As for design costs, we basically charge the same rate as most graphic designers or video editing firms. So in the end, a projection piece is comparable in price to a large custom wall vinyl graphic, with the added benefit of it being updateable and a lot more eye catching.

Also, once a system is installed, and the setup templates are in place, new graphics can be added for just the cost of design and creation. We use the original perspective correcting templates for all future graphics.

Technical Aspects
-Obviously, every situation will be different, but we can cater for most briefs. Systems can be as automatic or as manual as required, from automatic timed start-up, to “back to base” and live data streaming systems.

-“Wide throw” projectors, provide a larger image when mounted closer to the screen than normal projectors. This allows for a greater degree of freedom for projector placement.

-The projectors we recommend don’t produce excessive heat and are not harmed by power outages. They can therefore be mounted in smaller spaces than traditional systems.

-In a lot of situations, wiring can be limited to 1 GPO. No data, video, or networking cables required. Everything is contained in the projector.

-Standard ceiling brackets are a cheap and easy alternative for mounting in most situations. Especially in existing fitouts.

-Projection films for glass allow video to be rear (or front) projected onto store front windows. These films are easily removable and can be cut to custom shapes. Touch screen films are also available allowing interactive displays.

Custom Shapes for Clear Projection Screens