SM SUPERMALLS has tapped Cal-Comp Technology (Philippines), Inc. for the supply of customer service robots in one of its shopping malls.
In a statement issued Wednesday, Cal-Comp Philippines said it signed a partnership with SM Supermalls for the provision of its New Era AI (Artificial Intelligence) Robotic service robots.
The first service robot will be stationed at SM Megamall in the first quarter of 2019. The robot will be programmed to direct mall-goers and answer questions about Megamall shops and tenant promos. Its large screen and speakers will also provide real-time promotion with interactive map services.
“In pursuit of bringing family fun experiences for all, SM is excited to bring to customers another fun innovation that aims to transform shopping and retail experiences in the country,” Cal-Comp Philippines quoted SM Supermalls Chief Operating Officer Steven T. Tan as saying in a statement.
In an earlier interview with reporters, Cal-Comp Philippines Chief Executive Officer Simon Shen described the service robots as smart, humanoid robots featuring smart voice interactivity, facial biometrics identification, and POS systems, among others.
“Our partnership with SM Supermalls will revolutionize the local retail industry, and we are excited for the rollout of this new technology across all SM Supermalls in the Philippines. Our smart service robot’s speech capabilities will hopefully make the shopping experience more convenient for everyone, and provide the needed assistance to mall guests of all ages.” Mr. Shen said in a statement.
Mr. Shen earlier noted that the robots can also speak Tagalog as they were put up by Filipino engineers.
The company said the service robot can also be used in other industries such as retail, convenience stores, health care, and finance. The robot’s front screen can also be used for mobile advertisements and other announcements.
Aside from AI robots, Cal-Comp Philippines manufactures consumer electronics products such as calculators, electronic keyboards, LEDs, hard disk drives, and several high-end home appliance product for international brands.
Cal-Comp Philippines is the local unit of Taiwan-based New Kinpo Group, which has operations in Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, and several parts of China.
The company earlier planned to raise P6.77 billion through an initial public offering (IPO) to finance its expansion in the country, but decided to back out due to market volatility. This would have funded the construction of two new manufacturing facilities, new assembly equipment, and machinery.
Cal-Comp Philippines said it will proceed with its expansion in the country despite the postponement of the IPO. The company currently has a total manufacturing space of 298,674 square meters across Lima Technology Center in Lipa, Batangas and First Philippine Industrial Park in Sto. Tomas, Batangas. — Arra B. Francia