MANILA – SM Supermalls has formally launched its customer service robot as part of the retail empire’s plan to use technology to enhance Filipinos’ shopping experience.
Nicknamed Sam, the artificial intelligence (AI) robot concierge is the first of its kind in the Philippines. It can help shoppers with directions and provide information about mall deals and events, among others.
The technology came from Taiwanese firm Cal-Comp. Currently, there are three Sam robots roaming around to greet customers in various areas of SM Megamall, specifically along Bank Drive Entrance, Mega Fashion Hall, and Mega Atrium.
“It took us a long time [to introduce Sam] because we really had to input a lot of data,” said Steven Tan, chief operating officer of SM Supermalls. “There are a lot of things you need to customize, especially for Megamall.”
“We chose to name it Sam because it can be a girl’s name, short for Samantha, or a boy’s name, short for Samuel,” he went on. “And you can also see the relation between Sam and SM.”
Tan said there are plans to roll out Sam robots in three other “premier” SM malls – Mall of Asia, North Edsa, and Aura – soon.
“If the demand goes up, we will also deploy in other SM Supermalls,” he said. “Nauna lang ‘yung Megamall because it’s in the middle of Metro Manila. But you will definitely see it in other malls.”
Tan went on to describe Sam as “a learning robot,” saying it can currently understand English.
“It’s a learning robot so the more you interact with it, the more intelligent it becomes,” he said.
Read more: ABS-CBN