Pepper, the humanoid robot from SoftBank electronics has been enlisted by MasterCard and Pizza Hut to start taking customer orders as soon as the end of this year.
What makes Pepper unique is that it is able to read human emotions, which it does this with the help of four microphones, two HD cameras and a depth sensor.
“Consumers have come to expect personalised service, customised offers and simple and seamless processes both in-store and online,” said Tobias Puehse Vice President of innovation management, digital payments and labs at Mastercard.
As Puehse puts it, combining the customer experience that Pepper can create with Mastercard’s secure digital payment platform, Masterpass has the potential to streamline the ordering and payment process.
Upon entering a store customers can pair their Masterpass wallet with Pepper by scanning a QR code the friendly robot is displaying. Once paired with the wallet Pepper will reportedly provide customers with, “personalised recommendations and offers, additional information on products, and assistance in checking out and paying for items.”
This partnership may be a precursor to customers making in-aisle purchases from robots in the future. One could also shop around and have the items delivered to your door without having to fill in any paperwork. It’s a rather convenient future when you think about it.
Sadly, we won’t be seeing Pepper the robot in South African Pizza Huts as Pepper is only going to be landing in Pizza Hut outlets in Asia and this is merely an experiment to see how the general public takes to being served by a robot.
This leads us to a rather interesting question, would you want to be served by a robot that could potentially access your past purchases and recommend you have the Pepperoni pizza again, or do you prefer human interaction? Let us know in the comments, we’re keen to know what you think.
[Via – Mastercard]