ANA Opens World’s 1st Store Where Customers can Shop Remotely through an Avatar Robot in Tokyo

ANA partnered with Mitsui Fudosan and Isetan Mitsukoshi opened today the world’s first store equipped with avatar robot across the dynamic Tokyo neighborhood of Nihonbashi. ANA HD avatars will be featured in Tokyo’s Nihonbashi district, starting with the limited pop-up “avatar-in store” which will be open from December 5 to December 24.

Customers will be able to shop remotely at the limited pop-up store in Nihonbashi’s COREDO Muromachi mall using the “newme” avatar robots to browse the store’s inventory without having to physically travel there. All purchases will then be shipped and delivered to the address provided at registration. The robot has a tablet-sized monitor on top of its body that displays the customer’s facial expressions in real time, and moves around the store on wheels.

The connective power of ANA HD’s avatar technology will also be applied for entertainment events, highlighting the convergence of technological innovation and artistic creativity. Starting in January 2020, the first of these connected exhibitions, “FLOWERS BY NAKED 2020 SAKURA” will allow visitors to harness avatar technology to fully experience a lush, artistic garden remotely via their computers.

Online registration is required to use the service. ANA plans to introduce as many as 1,000 avatar robots in Japan, including 100 in the Nihombashi business and commercial district next year in time for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.