"Physical distancing is engraved in the No-Touch Activations design” - Nikhil Joshi, Digital Jalebi

Industry Watch | September 4, 2020 | Interview

Digital Jalebi No-Touch Activations

Contactless customer experiences are fast becoming a norm in a wide range of industries amidst the Covid19 pandemic. Experiential design studio Digital Jalebi has added a new dimension to its business with a ‘No-Touch Activations’ vertical for brands. 

Nikhil Joshi, Co-founder, Digital Jalebi, said that in this ‘new normal’, there is a greater awareness about the potential impact of no-touch activations. “We have innovated and already delivered these activations by using audio sensors, body tracking, hand gestures, expression tracking, etc,” he noted.

“Brands are also looking forward to taking safety measures and provide a more connected, autonomous experience by investing and leveraging new age technologies,” Joshi added. 

To know more about the offering and its technology, EVENTFAQS Media caught up with Joshi. 

When was 'No Touch Activations’ introduced by Digital Jalebi?

We have been in the experiential business for eight years now, and four months back there was no business due to pandemic. But in the last two months when clients started approaching us, we could see a huge difference in their expectations. And hence we started working to collate solutions for our clients that would quickly boost their content using technology, to help them deliver a better experience even during the pandemic.

The entire idea of No-Touch Activations is to handle the entire set of apprehensions that everybody has in the market about how we would get back to doing the events the way they used to happen. With No-Touch Activations, we are trying to refine the interactions in a way that everything is already taken care of, for both brands and their customers who are experiencing the activation.

How is it different from other tech-based retail promotions?

The technology remains the same; we are not using a new set of sensor tech, but the biggest difference is the way we are using it. When we previously used this No-Touch Activations technology, the exhibit design never really allowed us to keep people apart from each other; the exhibits were always made in a way that a lot of crowd would assemble. From a technology point of view, there was still physical interaction involved. 

But right now what we are doing is, every exhibit we design, there is an underlined premise that nobody would come close to each other and that is engraved in the design more than the technology. So that is the big conceptual shift that we undertook with the technology and still made sure that we deliver a good experiential solution for the brand. 

Was the sensor-based technology developed in-house?

The sensor-based technology was always there in the market but we explored what’s more to it. For example, we have used a lot of Kinect sensor cameras (depth-sensing cameras), but the problem with these cameras are they don’t work outdoors. Also, when we start interacting with them, they would make people come close to each other. So the way we approached this entire problem is to set the premise and design on how to keep people apart. 

So, we explored this technology and figured out we can do the same thing with a webcam using algorithms. There are algorithms by Google that can be used – it was not used in the experiential industry before, but we are now using them for this purpose. We have cameras which can be used to keep people apart from each other during the event. 

So, we design the premise by figuring what technology and algorithm can be used and see how the technology suits the premise that will help us to achieve this big design that we have planned for the client. We also use a lot of laser, sensor-based technology, one of which is LiDAR sensor.

Besides Asian Paints, can you cite other clients for whom you have deployed sensor-based retail activation?
Apart from Asian Paints, we executed an event for a real estate brand called MCM (Gurgaon) using the No-Touch Activations. 

Can you elaborate on the claim of being the first to foray into the space of ‘No-Touch Activations’?

We claim to be the first because everyone is looking at technology and we are looking at design. According to us, it’s about how we are reinventing the way to interact with these technologies. We will tell you how the same technologies can be used and handle all the apprehensions of the client and help achieve experiential goals, which according to me is the most difficult task. In India it’s difficult to think and do rather than just do. So, you can just take a sensor-based technology and build a photo booth gallery or a game, but it is difficult to sit and ideate this entire realm of new offerings.


To know more about the offering and its technology, EVENTFAQS Media caught up with Joshi.

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