When Robots Smile… | The Integer Group®
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When Robots Smile…

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

Recently, the planners at Integer got together for lunch and ended up at a restaurant that just implemented a tablet system, which displays your menu options, takes your orders, and even your payment. It essentially cuts out the wait staff. Well the story goes that even us planners had a hard time figuring it out, so much so that we asked for the print menus and help. Adoption takes time.

But that is not my point. As we were waited on by actual humans, I noticed the emotion that the staff brought in. A smile. A joke. An endearing sigh at the failed technology before us. I was truly relieved by this injection of the human soul, something technology can’t provide. For now at least…

There is an apparent limit to replacing humans with technology beyond adoption: an engaging experience. Though it may not necessarily be a limit in all situations. A convenience store that serves breakfast burritos during morning rush hour may benefit from the speedy automation that a tablet will bring. However, when asking for a bottle of wine at dinner, I will prefer the experience of having a human smile at me…

So let’s not be too hasty to adopt every hot technology trend without determining whether it would build on or detract from how we experience a brand. For this restaurant, I urge them to get their money back.

Photo Source: iphonetoolbox.com

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