Rookie USA Introduces Virtual Carmelo Anthony

Rookie USA, a New York-based high-end retail store that sells children's sportswear, has rolled out its newest sales associate—the Virtual Carmelo Anthony. Created by Tensator, a software company based in the United Kingdom that offers interactive customer service and marketing solutions, the 6-foot, 8-inch, 3-D holographic image provides store information as well as basketball tips.

The Virtual Carmelo Anthony directs customers to the store's Heroes corner to see athletes in action and compare their footprints to those of their favorite athlete, invites them to experience the iPad bar, shoot hoops at the Virtual Basketball Court, and use the interactive touch screens and kiosks located throughout the store.

The virtual Knicks forward is not a voice-activated virtual assistant, but that feature is on the company's roadmap, according to Tensator senior business development manager Keith Carpentier.

"We have some interactivity already…where customers can scan QR codes with the Virtual Carmelo Anthony using their smartphones to gain exclusive information and deals on Rookie USA brands," Carpentier says. "The next step is more interactivity, of course."

Tensator's Virtual Assistant has been installed at Birmingham airport in the United Kingdom and Boston Logan International, as well as healthcare facilities and retailers. Rookie USA is the first retailer to use a celebrity Virtual Assistant from the vendor.

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