A Look to the Future: Royal Bisselll Reflects on the Limitless Application of the iMirror and Innovation in Tech

Through the Looking Glass is a blog series that spotlights the visionaries and talent behind NOBAL Technologies and how they foresee the future of global innovation.

Royal Bisselll has a gift for taking the newest, most advanced tech and making it simple. As the Director of Innovation, he guides you through the user journey from start to finish — which makes integrating the iMirror with your brand seamless.

That’s saying a lot, considering the myriad ways the iMirror can be used. So, how does he make boundary-pushing tech seem like the easiest, most obvious choice for brands around the world?

Read on.

How did you get your start in software development and tech?

It’s not a straightforward as you might think.

I had always been interested in computers and software as a kid, but it wasn’t something I thought I’d ever get into. I didn’t see myself sitting behind a desk all the time. Luckily, I realized that it’s not about that. There are amazing people in the tech world you can learn from and collaborate with, and my work is fun, dynamic, and exciting.

Like many people in Alberta in the mid 2000s, I did a Bachelor of Commerce and started my career in oil and gas. I began in the exploration industry, but quickly moved over to software development.

I fell in love with product development and working with new tech, specifically hardware. I’m fascinated by the physical components and anything I can get my hands on. One of my favourite parts of my previous work was working with drillers and helping them understand and use brand-new tech.

So, what’s your secret to helping people adopt new tech?  

Simplicity is key.
My approach has always been explaining our product to someone on their level — what do they need to know about how it works? How does it help them? Why should they use it? The other crucial part is ensuring there is a streamlined process: breaking things down step by step. Even if clients don’t know every detail about how the product was designed or built, they will be able to utilize it. That’s my end goal.  

Take the iMirror, for example.

It’s cutting-edge tech, but with a little bit of training, people know where to click on the screen, and how to make payments by tapping their card. It’s a bit like the first time a touchscreen phone came around. There was a learning curve for everyone because it was brand new. Now, they’re everywhere.

Once people understand tech, they become more comfortable.

The iMirror’s design is state-of-the-art, but for users, the controls are natural, intuitive, and instinctual — the way good tech should be.

How does that relate to your role as Director of Innovation?

As Director of Innovation, I work with clients to help them integrate the iMirror with their business and elevate their customers’ experience. We work as a team to come up with their user journey and ensure that implementing and using the iMirror is as simple and secure as possible.

The other initiative I’m really excited to be working on right now is tap to pay. Tap to pay allows users to check out right from the mirror.

It’s the next step in shopping: Tapping your phone or your credit card, and simply walking out with the item in hand. I can’t wait to get that rolled out.

It’s the future of retail.

Speaking of the future of retail… What does innovation mean to you?

To me, innovation is developing a complete, industry-changing solution. A lot of people think innovation is about solving a single problem.

It’s not.

It’s about thinking about the world in a new way, with a method for change. And it’s not always about a problem, per se. No one knew they needed a smartphone before they were invented, but they’ve unquestionably improved our lives and revolutionized the way we connect and communicate.

Innovation is coming up with a product or service that works, is easy to use, and can be adopted.

That’s what we’re doing here at NOBAL.

How is the iMirror a complete solution?

There isn’t a single industry that wouldn’t benefit from an interactive mirror. 

In retail, it builds interactive and engaging experiences in store that are similar to e-commerce but takes the customer experience to a new level. We’re in dental offices, office buildings, even greeting card stores.

Everyone has an idea of how they could use an interactive mirror. It has limitless application.

Plus, it’s a captivating medium of interaction. It’s more than a digital kiosk; people see themselves and are genuinely immersed in the brand, browsing, and buying products.

Research has shown that people love to look at themselves and their reflection. We’re drawn to a mirror in a way that just doesn’t happen at home on their computer or in a store — we become an active part of the experience, rather than passively looking at marketing content.

What makes you most excited about the iMirror?

The combination of our hardware and software.

I’ve been at NOBAL Technologies for over five years, and our touch screen technology, glass technology and display have just been getting better and better. We even have our own operating system and are constantly developing new apps.

More than that, our tech team delivers the experiences that clients actually want.

At NOBAL, we always build a customized experience, no matter what industry we’re working in. It’s an incredibly interesting design challenge because we get to reimagine the way people interact with physical space. As a result of the pandemic, people are a lot more comfortable using digital tools. The adoption rates of QR codes have skyrocketed, and people are doing more online shopping than ever before.

This is the world we live in. We can’t ignore these changes.

Brands need to think about how to invite people back into their space and offer something new for their customers to experience.

That’s why mirror technology is so profound: It merges an e-commerce model with novel in-store experiences — and holds endless possibilities of customization.

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