SmarTone robots get to work greeting customers

Hong Kong mobile phone company SmarTone has introduced smart robots into its retail stores.
Leading the way was SmarTone robot Nao on Valentine’s Day at the company’s APM store. Together with web celebrity Lilian Kan, Nao sang, danced and played games with customers, as well as giving Valentine’s Day greetings in Cantonese, Chinese and English.
Smart robot Pepper also joined in, making it the first time the two robots have appeared together in Hong Kong.
SmarTone Robotics 2
SmarTone says Nao is equipped with intelligence and real-time interaction capabilities, and can perform detailed actions. It can also introduce service plan offers and recommend smartphone accessories. Nao will be at SmarTone stores at APM, IFC and New Town Plaza until March 13, and later tour other outlets.
SmarTone Robotics 1
The company says SmarTone robots will not replace human staff. “The company is just looking to provide a fun and interactive experience, and deepen in-store engagement with customers,” says SmarTone head of marketing and sales Josephine Lam.
“We will continue to seek ways to introduce the latest robotics technologies into our business as well as provide opportunities for local enterprises, organisations and individuals to experience the technology,” says head of products and services Alex Kun. “For instance, we will launch robot rental services and organise coding workshops to nurture the younger generation’s interest in robotics.”

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