Founder & CEO Alan Dowling
We have all seen the Sci Fi’s – Total Recall, Minority Report, Blade Runner, with the kiosk adverts & Virtual shopping portals prompting with annoyance, Hello Mr or Misses XX how can I help you?…. and would you like to try these?…. Little would you know that a small based tech firm out west and that’s not “Silicon Valley” but County Mayo would develop and is pitching its holographic technology to retail and other corporate entities for investment. Irish Firm VBC (Visual Brand Communication) has developed “Hali” its holographic Avatar that acts like your shop assistant.
This human like hologram has been already tested in Dublin Airport and now resides with Shell Ireland who purchased it to use it for health & safety training.
With a second investment round due later in the year VBC are developing another product, a foot tall holographic product designed to fill handy shelves in retail units. These virtual assistants will check availability for your selection, get your feedback and will then page a real life shop assistant to get your product and greet you with your items when you arrive into the shop.
VBC is attracting strong interest from high-end retailers and some in the hospitality sector. The technology behind the VBC product is far advanced over the next nearest competitor because it can hold vital retail data like footfall, stock availability, its interactivity with customers and its ability to read customer moods are far more intelligent than any on the market.
With the economy on a slow but gradual return, the general public will need something to entice them back into buying again. The most successful retailers will be ones that embrace the idea that innovative technology will improve the customer shopping experience as a combined competitive strategy.
The convenience of using these technologies suits the modern age and way of life for many. Being able to select an item at a Virtual kiosk or your smart phone app and have it arrive an hour later at your front door seems to defeat the hassle sometimes associated with shopping. Many people prefer using their recreational time exercising or focusing on hobbies, is the day of “build it and they will come” shopping centres over? I welcome your comments….
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