Japanese firms test avatar for remote shopping

TOKYO (The Japan News/ANN) - ANA Holdings Inc. (ANAHD) and Isetan Mitsukoshi Ltd. in Tokyo demonstrated a  test of a prototype avatar that enables shopping from remote locations.

A test of a prototype avatar that enables shopping from remote locations was demonstrated for the media by ANA Holdings Inc. (ANAHD) and Isetan Mitsukoshi Ltd. in Tokyo on Wednesday.

  The avatar — a robotic alter ego of the user — was developed by ANAHD and is equipped with a camera and microphone. 

  In the test, a person acting as a customer from a separate location and controlling the robot remotely via computer purchased a boxed set of sweets as a gift while communicating with a store clerk.

  The tests will be conducted through Dec. 24 at the shopping plaza Coredo Muromachi 3 in the Nihonbashi district of Tokyo. Pre-registration is required for use. The avatar system is expected to be used by the elderly, people with disabilities and office workers too busy to go shopping.

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