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Vodacom Has a New Team Member and It's Not What You Think
12 Mar 18
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Vodacom Has a New Team Member and It's Not What You Think

Here in good ‘ol South Africa, Vodacom has always been at the forefront of innovation. It is this innovative spirit that has ensured the company has held on to the biggest share of customers each year. This year though, Vodacom has decided to take their innovative ways to another level and have added a new member to their team. The new team member is none other than a humanoid robot named Pepper.

Pepper’s function is to assist people with their day-to-day lives, leisure activities and work. For Vodacom, Pepper will provide in-store support to customers from the moment they walk in, right through the early stages of the shopping journey. Pepper will be connected to the company’s sales tools so that it can offer guidance to customers and will be able to request a human counterpart when needed.

Humanoid robots like Pepper have already become a popular addition to a few companies around the world, with Nestle in Japan planning to launch the bot in 1000 of its Nescafe stores. In France, the Carrefour Supermarket chain has had Pepper entertaining customers and tracking satisfaction levels through a series of questions so that the company can use the insights received to improve their service and offerings.

How Pepper works is truly something straight out of a movie. It is equipped with a 3D camera, 2 HD cameras and 4 directional microphones, so it is able to detect where sound comes from, identify movement and possibly cooler than anything else, can recognise different emotions by analysing faces. If you’re sad Pepper will comfort you, if you’re happy Pepper will join in your happiness. Pepper is also connected to the internet which means you can ask it for a news or weather update and receive an accurate response.

Vodacom says Pepper is still in training, but being the first Telecommunications Company in SA to have a humanoid robot assisting customer’s means that people will happily wait to experience this latest innovation, since it will surely take their rivals a while to catch up.

It is not yet clear where Pepper will be deployed, but we have a sneaky suspicion that Pepper will make its debut at a certain store in Midrand or Sandton. But, as soon as we have confirmation, we will be sure to let you know!

For now though you can see Pepper in action in the video below:





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