Nestlé Japan will soon begin using a humanoid robot to sell Nescafé machines as part of its ongoing effort to enhance brand engagement with consumers in Nescafé’s biggest market.
Nescafé will use the humanoid robot Pepper to sell Nescafé Dolce Gusto and Nescafé Gold Blend Barista coffee machines in home appliance stores in Japan starting in December.
Pepper is the first robot in the world that’s able to read and respond to human emotion. Equipped with the latest voice and emotion recognition technology, Pepper is able to read people’s facial expressions and listen to their tone of voice to analyse how they’re feeling.
“Pepper will be able to explain Nescafé products and services and engage in conversation with consumers,” said Kohzoh Takaoka, president and CEO of Nestlé Japan. “I hope that this new consumer engagement model will expand across the world as an example of Japanese innovation.”
Pepper is produced by SoftBank Robotics, a subsidiary of SoftBank Corporation and is part of the company’s ambition to take technology beyond factory floors.
“The dream to create an advanced consumer experience with Pepper is now coming true,” said Masayuki Son, chairman and CEO of SoftBank Corporation. “We hope that by providing people the opportunity to interact with a robot while shopping, we can help create experiences of wonder and delight for consumers.”
Pepper will start selling Nescafé machines in around 20 home appliance stores in December 2014. Nestlé is planning to use the robot nationwide in around 1,000 stores by the end of 2015. The use of Pepper to advance Nescafé in Japan follows other recent Nestlé Japan innovation efforts centred on engaging with consumers in unique and relevant ways, and helping them connect with each other over coffee.
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