I’ve seen some weird tech items before, but these things totally freaked me out today. Meet the Orange Ub-y (short for “ubiquity”), which roams around the Orange stand here in Barcelona. There’s actually two as I write this, and the girls controlling the devices are chatting to each other via the screens, which is strange enough.
Then one of them turns towards you..
The device looks like a radio control car with a stand and monitor mounted up top. The girls on screen have headphones in and welcome you to the Orange stand, answering any questions you may have. The experience is a little strange, and I’d have preferred the “real thing” if I’m honest, but it’s definitely better than having a full-on robot trying to talk to you.
The people behind this are a company called Suitable Tech and it lets Orange staff speak, see and move around locations like this easily. Imagine one of these in your local supermarket, or perhaps in a chain of stores. The staff behind the monitors can work remotely but still provide assistance in a range of locations easily. Call it a “Smart Presence System” or “Telepresence”, it’s very interesting to experience..
A scary future for remote working? Or the next big thing? I’ll leave it up to you to decide. Either way, the lovely French lady couldn’t understand me. I won’t let it phase me though. It’s not the first time a beautiful lady has claimed to not understand me and then walk off quickly.
It is the first time one has wheeled themselves away though.