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Discover the latest thoughts from the Amplience team and partners about Retail Engagement.

Metadata revolution: making images adaptive

June 18th, 2015

We have recently integrated a new technology that allows you to assign metadata to your rich media assets, and publish this live. This means that users can add information about an image to the image itself, which can be used in many ways, including dictating how the image should appear. One of the first uses we thought of was being able to set a Point of Interest on an image, which will create adaptive imagery. But what does that mean for retailers?

For retailers dealing with today’s multi-screen customer journeys it is essential to create consistent experiences across all devices and screen sizes. But with the huge range of screen sizes, from the largest 4K screens down to smartphones (and possibly further down to watches), retailers need an experience that is tailored to each screen while keeping consistency.

Creating truly responsive experiences requires more than just changing the dimension of an image. Take this image for example:

This could be a hero image on a desktop, possibly with some merchandising information in some of the space around the model. Now, that would look great at full size on a desktop. But on a mobile, if you just resize the image, you’ll end up with something like this:

When of course, you really want something like this:

The second image is actually optimized for a mobile experience, rather than simply being a resized desktop image.

The problem most retailers face is that to achieve the latter result across all devices they have to create a new image to every possible crop, escalating costs some businesses can’t or won’t assume.

One might think that a solution would be an automated platform that helps you to resize images dynamically, but even then you may not get the most appropriate image. If this image were cropped around the center, it would look like this on mobile:

That’s precisely why we’ve enabled adding coordinates to an image to create a Point of Interest, as part of our Dynamic Media technology. This will allow you as a user to specify a point or area on the image that you want to frame the picture around and, with only some slight changes in the URL, the image will be optimized for any device. This means that when the AmplienceOne platform dynamically resizes it, it will ensure a consistent and accurate look across all possible devices.

The way we envisioned it to work is, all a user needs to do is select an area that they want to keep in focus. By encoding this area in as part of the image’s metadata, the Amplience platform will show how that image will look in different image versions.

But adding a Point of Interest to an image could be used in many useful ways, which we are exploring the possibilities of. For example, simplifying the creation of fabric and color swatches.

Let’s say you sell a range of sofas, like DFS below, in different colors and patterns. Instead of photoshopping and uploading a thumbnail image of each color or pattern, you could select an area on the image, say the arm rest, or pillow case. Then a thumbnail of this area would be automatically created, and this template could then be duplicated across all the different types of sofas and used in your product pages, all with a few clicks.

Another useful case we are exploring of area coordinates would be to automate the creation of detail images. Just by selecting an area of an image, and with the right player configuration, that detail view could be added to the product page player automatically and, without having to crop or upload a single asset.

Another useful example of metadata use for retailers would be to set a ‘stock’ value as part of a product schema. It would then be possible to set a ‘Sold Out’ roundel that shows if the stock level from the metadata is 0.

If you are a current Amplience user, please get in touch with your Customer Success representative to get this technology provisioned for your business.

To find out more about our metadata technology, please get in touch with our Customer Success team at: csteam@amplience.com.

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