By The Japan News/ANN
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.