Updated January 10, 2024 to include new details and a video interview with the company at CES 2024.
Remember Displace TV? It was one of the coolest things I saw at CES last year, a wireless TV powered by a hot-swappable battery that clicks into place on a mount so it can be easily moved around from room to room, office to office. It doesn’t require any wires, just a base unit nearby that’s plugged in. The company was anticipating shipping by the end of 2023, but the TV is still on reservation with fully refundable deposits. Estimated availability, according to Displace, will be July 2024 while the new products are coming later this year.
We visited with Displace TV this year to learn more about the new Displace Flex and Displace Mini, along with something else that will be of particular interest to the retail community: an AI-powered shopping experience on the TV itself.
The Displace Flex and Displace Mini are expansions to the upcoming line, which currently includes the wireless 55-inch 4K TV that was shown at CES 2023.
The Displace Flex and Displace Mini include the same features as the original TV, including no wires or ports, a super lightweight design, hand gesture control, and the ability to easily secure to any surface with Displace’s proprietary active-loop vacuum technology. New safety features announced in October 2023 include the addition of advanced wall-sensing algorithms, four quick adhesives for stability, and a proprietary self-lowering landing gear system.
The Displace Flex is a 55-inch 4K TV created to accommodate rooms where screens can’t be attached to a wall. Instead, it attaches to a portable magnetic Displace Stand (sold separately) that wirelessly charges the TV for placement in environments like offices and kids’ rooms. It offers a month of battery life with an average of six hours of viewing time per day. The TV will come in multiple colours and can be combined with other Displace Flex TVs to form any sized TVs.
Each TV is equipped with advanced thermal cameras and NFC payment readers. Those are for the shopping experience right from the TV screen thanks to Displace Shopping (more on that below).
Like the original Displace TV, Displace Flex is lightweight and portable, controlled by hand gestures and uses computer vision to track users throughout a space.
As the name implies, Displace Mini is a smaller, 27-inch version of the original Displace TV, ideal for placement on kitchen countertops, the refrigerator, windows, bathrooms, and more. It’s lightweight at just 12 lbs. and comes with a pair of external batteries. It also comes in multiple colours and can be combined with other Displace Mini TVs to form any sized TV. Given its small size and versatile placement options, the Displace Mini can also be used as a live picture frame, displaying a slid show of images.
The TV can run for about a month per charge with an average of six hours of viewing time per day. Once necessary, charge it with the Displace Stand (sold separately). Displace Mini TVs also come equipped with advanced thermal cameras and NFC payment readers.
Reservations for all Displace TVs are available on the Displace website starting January 9, 2024, with a fully refundable deposit. The two new models will be available to ship by late 2024; there’s no confirmed date yet, as mentioned, for the launch of the original Displace TV.
For what will the NFC payment readers in these TVs by used? It’s called Displace Shopping, a technology that allows customers to initiate real-time purchases of products and services featured in commercials, TV shows, and movies. With Displace Payments, third-party developers can easily accept payments from within their applications built for Displace TVs.
Displace Shopping uses Displace TV’s proprietary gesture technology. Raise your hand to pause a video, and the Displace AI will analyze the screen to find products available for sale. Once you see something you want to purchase, drag and drop the product into the global Displace Shopping Cart. When you are ready to checkout, bring your smartphone or smartwatch near the TV’s built-in NFC payment reader and a fully secure payment process will initiate without the need for credit card information. You can also pay from within the Displace app. Hopefully there are security features and parental controls to prevent teens and tweens from ordering outfits from their favourite actors and racking up massive bills!
While Displace Shopping is a convenient option for shopping from home, retailers could use this to initiate quick sales as part of the omni-channel experience, combining both in-store and online. Imagine someone being able to pre-order a hot new jacket or tech item from a commercial playing on the in-store display, ensuring delivery to their home once it’s available. Retailers could even potentially fulfill the product on-the-fly in store if inventory is available and a system is set up to facilitate this. Order from the TV, show the receipt to an employee and they’ll grab it right off the rack, shelf, or back for you to take home.
Displace Shopping will work for buying everything from jewelry, clothing, food, subscriptions, electronics, and even furniture. If the specific product isn’t available in the system, Displace will search for similar items without requiring the viewer to do anything. A feature like this could also help generate sales in a store. Imagine a pair of headphones shown on a person in a music video playing on the TV in a store. Could Displace find a similar pair in the store if they don’t carry that exact model? This, of course, will require further retail integration with the technology. But it’s wishful thinking for additional ways that Displace Shopping could potentially be used.
“Our vision has always been ambient computing; Displace Shopping and Payments is a huge first step,” says Balaji Krishnan, Founder and CEO of Displace. “Displace TVs are meant to be used throughout the home. The addition of Displace Flex, Mini, Shopping and Payments allows viewers to find products they might love based on what they watch — and then seamlessly buy them. Displace TVs, Shopping, and Payments will disrupt advertising on TV like digital ads on smartphones, presenting huge opportunities for advertisers and studios while creating value for every Displace viewer.”
For now, you can reserve an original Displace TV and base control unit for US$4,499, a two-pack for US$8,099, or four-pack for US$13,499. Pricing for the Displace Flex and Displace Mini is TBA.