MWC – Orange Ub-y brings people to you. Virtually.

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.

MWC   Orange Ub y brings people to you. Virtually.

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.