Robot overlords start small with talking shop mannequins

vmbeacon-screen In scenes that are likely going to turn around and mark the end of humanity, three UK stores are set to trial mannequins embedded with beacon technology.

The three shops - House of Fraser's Online Store, Hawes and Curtis in London's Jermyn Street and Bentalls in Kingston upon Thames - will have showroom dummies embedded with relevant information about what they are wearing in the shop window, or anything else the store wants to flog in your direction.

You're not going to suddenly think you're having a breakdown with windows talking to you willy nilly, the scheme relies on customers downloading the app and opting in.

Obviously there's the creeping feeling that innocently sourcing a new blouse and some info on your phone says "Yeah! We have that in a blue and you'd look marvy!", that it's another way of marketing using your life choices and eating your mind.

Basically, you can select what you fancy and then order it online, if you're pushed for time to actually enter the shop.

Naturally there's also a social media aspect, as customers are also encouraged to share their fashion looks and dressing room selfies with friends.

Co-founder of the VMBeacon, Jonathan Berlin, speaking words he may live to regret, said: "Research shows that customers already use their smartphones while shopping in store, but until now, the retail industry hasn't realised the full potential of this,"

"The VMBeacon creates a completely new dimension to the shopping experience, by combining the consumer desire to be connected on the go, with the bricks and mortar store."

It's an inevitable idea, but surely by driving everything online, when the 'bricks and mortar store' does rely on a footfall of people actually going into them, seems a bit mad, but we're sure they know what they're doing!

Nice to know you can be mithered outside shops, as well as in them.


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