Note to marketers: Show up with a robot on Apple iPhone release day and you’re likely to get media coverage.
That’s what happened on Friday in front of the Apple store in Palo Alto, California, when the new iPhone6 and 6s Plus was set to be released.
Brianna Lempesis of San Diego was in line waiting to buy one of the new gadgets. Well, sort of.
Her face beamed on a computer screen attached to a BeamPro Sustainable Technologies robot was present - and grabbing the air waves. She was physically in San Diego, and planned to purchase a new phone remotely through a complicated plan that involved paying by credit card in a deal that she already arranged with the store manager. Someone was going to drop the phone in a side pouch of her robotic "body." Then she planned to lock herself (or her robot) in the store and fly up to the Bay Area on Monday to get her hands - her real ones - on her new purchase in the flesh. She was apparently "standing" in line at other stores, like in Toronto, too, thanks to technology.
Lempesis wasn't the only robot-customer to think of the gimmicky idea, either. Lucy Kelly sent her Atomic 212 Robot - which looks like an iPad riding a Segue - showed up in Sydney, Australia to buy a smartphone, Metro and Mashable reported. Kelly is a media executive for Atomic 212, the Telegraph in England reported.
In the case of Lempesis, the company that she worked for has grabbed headlines before, too. In July, President Barack Obama greeted Alice Wong, founder of the Disability Visibility Project via BeamPro during the Americans with Disabilities Act 25th Anniversary reception in the Blue Room of the White House via a BeamPro robot.
Robots, and new iPhones, are good for all sorts of things, Lempesis noted.
“I love the magic of technology,” she said.