Nike’s Kinect-Powered Window Displays Are Watching You

Are a Dutch firm’s interactive installations for Nike in London the future of a dying ad medium?

Window displays seem like one of those mediums destined to fade away: they’re too static, too flat, and reach too few people in the grand scheme of impressions. But certain situations–the Olympics, for example–still warrant pulling out all the stops.


To entice the millions of tourists streaming by their central London store last summer, the high-end British retailer Selfridges enlisted the help of Nike and …,staat, a Dutch creative agency with an abiding love of punctuation. Nike invited agency to design a series of window displays highlighting their newest products, and …,staat pitched a mixture of kinetic sculptures and interactive displays. “We are convinced that if you want to reach a digital and savvy target audience through a meaningful experience, you should also connect online and offline,” explains …,staat’s Martijn Lambada over email.

What resulted aren’t the first kinetic window displays we’ve seen, but they are an exciting example of where interactive advertising is heading. Each of the displays reacts to bypassers, using input from a Kinect sensor to measure things like height and speed. Some are simpler than others: an ad for Nike’s reflective jacket detects movement and then shoots a volley of strobe lights towards the street, or a display for Fuelband that mimics the passersby with a canopy of neon-colored baubles, a la this installation at Changi airport in Singapore.

Others are more reactive. In a window devoted to Nike’s Hyperdunk+ shoes, you stand on a street-side blue dot and jump as high as you can. Then, the system asks if you’d like to save your score–you respond by touching a “yes” or “no” decal on the window, which makes the entire plate glass window feel like a touch screen (though really, the camera is just tracking the movement of your hand). You can compare yourself, Strava-style, to others on a web ranking site.

What’s interesting isn’t so much the interactivity, but the fact that Kinect might end up saving the window display, which plenty have written off as a relic of 20th-century advertising. Check out more of …,staat’s work here.


About the author

Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan is Co.Design's deputy editor.