Each holiday season, iconic department store Bloomingdale’s window displays are among New York City’s most stunning.
But this year, the luxury retailer upped the ante by incorporating robots into three of the displays at its flagship 59th Street store — and the whimsical holiday scenes could foreshadow the future of retail year-round.
Switzerland-based tech company ABB Robotics created the robots and worked with roboticist Andy Flessas to design the displays.
In one Bloomingdale’s window, four robots autonomously decorate a Christmas tree by placing 20 gold ornaments on stands positioned within its branches — and then removing the bulbs so they can repeat the 30-minute process.
In another display, four ABB bots perform Christmas carols for viewers using several instruments, including a tambourine, chime, and digital xylophone. And in the last window, three robots encourage passersby to sing along to carols while deftly showing off their six-axis motion using a trio of song lyric-displaying screens.
More to Come
ABB is hopeful that Bloomingdale’s window displays will not only entertain shoppers, but also show other retailers how they could incorporate robots into their own stores.
“Our demonstrations in Bloomingdales show how robotics can make visual merchandising more dynamic and engaging,” Marc Segura, ABB’s Global Head of Service Robotics, said in a press release. “In the future, retailers could use robotics to create innovative mediums to interact with customers, demonstrate products, and engage at the point-of-sale with far more appeal and relevance than traditional static point-of-sale displays.”
READ MORE: Festive robots are decorating trees, singing karaoke carols, and serving coffee at Bloomingdale’s for the holidays [Business Insider]
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