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Reinventing the banking experience with interactive touch

Madura McCormack | Oct. 12, 2012
Microsoft and DBS Bank pull away from traditional banking with PixelSense


Picture a bank and the first things you imagine are tellers behind counters, sales executives in ergonomic chairs and mounds of brochures.

The new DBS Remix branch is pulling away from that stereotype by losing the impersonal counters, queue tickets and pamphlets.

Located in NUS, the branch leverages software behemoth Microsoft's PixelSense platform to create what senior vice president and head of DBS franchise at DBS Bank Koh Cheng Hwee refers to as "an enhanced customer experience".

IT savvy banking

DBS Remix

"Remix is about mixing the future and present, a preview into what a branch of the future would look like," said Koh.

Now instead of pamphlets, staff can pull up relevant information on the 40 inch built in touch enabled surface.

To demonstrate the capabilities of PixelSense, account manager for financial services industry enterprise and partner group at Microsoft Bernard Tham explained how the visual based platform is able to detect up to 256 unique "symbols". Placing a credit card with an attached symbol on the touchscreen resulted in windows with the card features and offers.

With the capacity to handle 50 touch points simultaneously, the platform allows for up to five people to use it at any one time.

Tham noted that the device, which runs on the Windows 7 operating system, has a central content management option. This would allow for behind the scenes information updates to ensure real time product accuracy.

First launched in April 2011 as "Surface 2.0" using the Windows Vista operating system, it underwent upgrading and rebranding to be released in April 2012 as Microsoft PixelSense.

Unlike typical touchscreens, PixelSense is a visual based system, which makes it able to respond to touch as well as hand gestures by using light to detect the motions.

Implementation of PixelSense

DBS Bank has purchased five of the devices, which are housed in Samsung SUR40 full HD display units with each costing US$14,900 (S$12,112).

Jamieson Yu, regional (Asia Pacific) director for Microsoft hardware, says to think of it (the PixelSense platform) as a blank slate, with each consumer's interface tailor made to suit their specific business needs. This, Yu explains, is why there is no ballpark figure for setting up the PixelSense technology.

Other than the banking industry, Yu says the platform has been deployed in, but not limited to, the hospitality, automotive and education sectors.


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