You’ve probably been online shopping for so long you’ve forgotten what it’s like to walk into a physical store.
Especially for when you’re in the mood to browse around without anybody stopping you and say, “Sir, can I help?”
Well, guess what, my fellow shopaholics?
That’s exactly what you’ll get at a certain Singtel shop in Singapore.
Doesn’t look like much?
This nifty 24-hour shop allows you to shop, buy contract-free phones, pay your bills and more.
Without a single Singtel staff around.
And It Operates Like a Vending Machine
How does a vending machine work? You put in coins, you press a button and ‘bang’, your Pokka Green Tea falls into a dirty slot.
And that’s exactly how it works at UNBOXED, minus the coins and dirty slots.
The above is one of three video self-assist kiosks available in the pop-up store. You can sign up for plans or get instant SIM replacements at these kiosks.
And once you’re done using the machine?
You don’t go home and wait for your loot to be sent to you.
Instead, you can collect them immediately from the POPStation locker within the store.
In other words? Vending machine.
There’s a Robot On Wheels Too
If you’re wondering if a salesperson could ever be replaced, the answer’s yes, at least according to Singtel’s newest brainchild.
This nifty live robot on wheels will be able to give recommendations or answers to customers.
Right now, the pop-up store is located at 20 Pickering Street, for visitors curious enough to check it out.
But it won’t be there permanently.
Singtel has plans to relocate the mobile store every few months, and school campuses are a possibility too.
Check out Singtel’s introductory video on their store below:
Is This a Good Idea?
But in theory, of course. Because as the bicycle-sharing and PMD situations has shown us? Ideas that are great in theory can always be screwed up when you add in the human element.
Singtel’s shop is protected by a system called Sentinel (woahhh, Skynet-flashbacks here) which will prevent theft or mischief from unsavoury characters.
But this brings back to mind the age-old adage that the government has been trying to feed us all this while:
The future is now, and jobs are getting replaced with technology. If this move were to be a huge success, I can bet my boss’s cat that frontline positions would be drastically affected.
Here, check out another article we’ve written on this topic.
Meanwhile, Singtel’s customers be like:
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