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This Southeast Asia mall will have robots assisting customers in 2019

Initially, three androids will be deployed in the first quarter of 2019 in SM Megamall, the nation's second-biggest shopping center

Ian Sayson & Cecilia Yap | Bloomberg 

robots, artificial intelligence, AI, machine learning, technology
Photo: Shutterstock

The Philippines’ richest man Henry Sy will start rolling out next year to help customers navigate his massive

Initially three androids will be deployed in the first quarter of 2019 in SM Megamall, the nation’s second-biggest shopping center, said Steven Tan, chief operating officer for the of SM Prime Holdings Inc. The talking bots will provide mall directions and information on promotions and events, Tan said.

Megamall, among the biggest in Southeast Asia, spans 477,000 square meters (5.1 million square feet) or an area equivalent to about 89 football fields, and serves about 277,000 people every day, according to data from SM. If the pilot is successful, the group will bring the to its biggest shopping center SM North Edsa and other major malls, Tan said.

“Customer service is at the core of everything that we do and we always aim to make the shopping experience fun and seamless,” Tan said.

SM’s three largest malls in the Philippines attract a daily foot traffic equivalent to 10 percent of Metro Manila’s 13 million population. SM’s 72 malls nationwide haul in more than 3.5 million customers each day.

Sy, who migrated from China’s Fujian province and built his wealth from a shoe store he opened in Manila in 1948, expanded into in the 1980s to house his growing retail ventures. The will employ AI technologies to provide information to customers through an interactive, seamless and real-time platform, according to Cal-Comp Technology (Philippines), Inc., the provider and producer of the androids.

First Published: Fri, November 23 2018. 13:57 IST