You may experience a culture shock when you visit this hostel in Japan as the front desk is manned by Sharp’s mobile robot “RoBoHoN” to help you check-in and get settled.
Starting last June 1, RoBoHoN will greet the customers of bnb + Toranomon located in the Minato district in Tokyo.
This service utilizes a “remote customer service solution” using a newly developed Robophone by Sharp. When the camera installed in the Robophone detects a customer, it utters a pre-set greeting. It will alert the staff in the office at a remote place to whom they can communicate with the customer using a smartphone or tablet terminal.
When you confirm the customer’s name, the content you want to ask, the answer to the question, etc. in text on a smartphone or tablet device, the Robophone speaks on behalf of the staff. Customers can check-in/out and consult with staff through the Robophone.
As the impact of the new coronavirus expands, it is necessary to secure the customer service distance and shorten the customer service time, and bnb plus and Sharp will propose a new customer service style.
Robots manning the reception are nothing new in Japan. Robotel is an accommodation staffed by robot dinosaurs. However, more than a gimmick, robots could be one of the stopgap measures in navigating the post-COVID world.