The Future of Outdoor, Now

  • 2021

  • Product
    Commercial and Industrial

Designed By:

Commissioned By:

Coates Group

Designed In:


The O4 Outdoor Digital Suite delivers the future of outdoor digital merchandising in QSR (Quick Service Restaurant) environments through an integrated product offering – an ODMB (Outdoor Digital Menu Board) and OCU (Order Confirmation Unit), both designed to deliver transformative experiences that create value for our clients and their end users.

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  • There has been an increasing need in the QSR environment, further amplified by the pandemic, to cater to the drive-thru, contactless and in-car service model as the popularity of in-restaurant dining has declined. To ensure there aren't any bottlenecks at the order point, Coates developed a solution that would not only aid in ordering & menu visibility, but one that takes into consideration way-finding around a restaurant carpark space, speed of service and has the ability to provide a personalized experience to the user while ensuring the solution doesn't stray far from the human connection offered in a traditional ordering method.

  • Coates sought to create an integrated outdoor solution that caters to multiple brands and use cases. We created a core digital suite comprising of an ODMB (Outdoor Digital Menu Board) and an OCU (Order Confirmation Unit), which can both be configured and deployed in a variety of ways. Modularity was key to the design as it can be difficult to predict the roadmaps of our clients and technical partners. Both products (ODMB & OCU) have been designed around central totem structures, allowing for flexible platforms that serve multiple configurations (i.e. single/dual screen configurations and/or varying technology stacks: audio, visual, Bluetooth etc.).

  • In an environment dominated by industrial & obtrusive products, O4 expresses itself through inviting forms & interesting surface combinations, like tessellated perforations allowing for ventilation that also help break-up large singular planes. These humanize the tech experience by fusing analogue elements to counteract the digital fatigue that's prevalent today. Functionality is tailored around needs & wants of end-users, but also those who service & maintain the product regularly - experienced professionals to casual workers. O4 intends to eliminate the anxiety of interacting with electronic devices by considering servicing (keeping everyday interactions within minimal site & reach range), employing colour theory & easy-to-read labelling combined with simple iconography.

  • The O4 Suite is split into two products to better suit ergonomic needs in a drive-thru environment, with reach, audibility and readability heavily considered in the development. The ODMB serves as the primary visual unit with its ability to house large format digital screens, while the OCU serves as the primary audio device, but more importantly is the enabler for connectivity, enhancing experiences in emerging smart environments. The main cores allow for easy swap-in and swap-out of the external aluminum cladding, helping to minimize cost (in product, shipping and installation fees) and wastage should any damage caused by errant debris or driver error occur. The interchangeable external cladding also means that both products can be easily updated when a client undergoes a branding change without having to swap out the main structural totems. The product set also allows for easy adoption of peripheral devices such as lighting & auxiliary technology components due to multiple fixing points & keyhole systems in the main structural totems. The ever-changing QSR landscape means that businesses must now navigate hurdles by anticipating their next steps. The O4 Suite is designed to adapt technologies seamlessly, which allows partners & clients to rollout their next generation offerings with ease.