Question: What’s plastic, five feet tall, has pointy ears, and wants our money? Answer: NEC’s new store clerk robot, which the company hopes will be able to eliminate the feeble errors and useless excuses associated with flesh-and-blood part-time staff.
The unnamed prototype is really a showcase for NEC’s wireless technology that reads things like electronic money chips in phones and transportation passes. It brings a little extra to the party in the form of a touchscreen for dispensing information and offering choices when needed and a camera with face-recognition software attached.
NEC suggests the robot could be used in some stores that sell tickets or in theme parks, where it could take payment and make suggestions based on the perceived age of the customer. So, if you hear, “Hey, you look kinda past it — maybes we’ll pass on the rollercoaster this time, eh pops?” you’ll know it comes from a good place. (J Mark Lytle/Metropolis)© Japan Today