If this is the future of retail, I’ll be shopping online more often.
Takashimaya, a department store in Tokyo, is working with Dr. Hiroshi Ishiguro from Osaka University to demonstrate their concept of the next generation of retail merchandising. The timing couldn’t be better – the female mannequin is pushing their Valentine’s Day promotion as its first target.
Ishiguro is known as the master of lifelike robotics and is best known for his work on the incredibly realistic Geminoid line of androids. This is the first time his work has been applied for commercial purposes.
“I see this as the future of shop displays,” said Dr Ishiguro. “They don’t represent real life at all which is what I see as the point of some displays”.
With the ability to display over 60 facial expressions that reflect her “emotions” (including the ability to yawn when bored from inactivity), the mannequin senses people around her and interacts with them.
Animatronic technology has been used in the past to draw attention to retail display windows, but they have never been this realistic or interactive.
Here is the robot in action: