Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Shopping Robot Tested in Japan

Shooping helper robots are being tested at a mall in Japan.

The robots can help shoppers either at the mall or remotely from the web.
It is an effort by NTT Communications and Tmsuk.

The robots navigate with 5500 RFID tags placed in the floor, at the stores, on products and on people.

At the mall:
The shopper can call a robot by showing their own RFID tag to a card reader and requesting a robot escort.
The shopper chooses a store from the touch screen on the robot and the robot accompanies them to the store.
The robot can describe products and specials at the store.
The robot has a lock box to carry your purchases.

The customer selects the store on line and the robot navigates to the store and finds a sales person. There is two-way video so that the shopper at home can talk to the sales person.
It does not explain what the robot does if you buy the product. Since it navigates from RFID tags at the mall, it can't bring the product home to you.

I guess you could also use it to meet friends at the mall. You both log in at the same time then send your robots to the same store where you can chat.

RFID in Japan: RFID-driven Shopping Assistant Robot soon to be tested in a mall


Blogger tempusmaster said...

While it is being promoted by NTT Comm and the stores as providing better customer service and a more pleasant shopping experience, the underlying effect is to eliminate store clerks and personnel costs. Think of it as an ATM machine on wheels - it will have the same impact on department store shopping that ATMs had on banks. Here's a little more information - http://www.robots-dreams.com/2006/02/are_you_being_s.html

7:41 AM, February 08, 2006  

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