Customer service being replaced by robots

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, October 29, 2014

There’s nothing better than walking into a store and knowing the exact location of the item you’re looking for.
However, with so many stores, and the constant reshuffling of merchandise, it becomes harder to remember which aisle items are located.
A Lowe’s store in California is testing a set of four robots that can help customers find what they need.
According to a story published on the Houston Chronicle’s website, the four robots employ 3D scanning technology that allows them to “look” at an item a customer brought in, such as a nail or screw, and identify it.
The robot is connected to a database that can let the customer know if the item is in stock, and if so can then lead them to its location within the store.
While futuristic and on the surface a great idea, there is a more cost effective idea that may provide close to the same level of service.
Cell phone application creators could write a program that could provide close to the same service.
By using GPS location services, and providing a map of the interior of a store, a simple application could point customers in the direction of the product they seek.
While GPS may have its limitations when it comes to locating a person within a store, not just because the location would have to be more exact, but because of the difficulty of receiving a signal in a metal building, a simple map of the store with the location of the item would be just as beneficial.
Sure, it would be nice to have robots in every store, showing us the way to the merchandise we seek, and even letting us know if it’s in stock before we peruse the aisles, but such a service is years out at best. Providing a simple smart phone application could be achieved much easier and faster.

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