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'Virtual Assistant' technology makes retail debut at Duane Reade

July 13, 2011 | William Zimmerman
Duane ReadeTensator.jpg
July 5, 2011 

New York City -- Next-generation digital signage that uses the latest in holographic imaging and audio-visual technology to create the illusion of a real person is making its U.S. debut at Duane Reade's new flagship in downtown Manhattan.

The technology, the Tensator Virtual Assistant, is provided by Lawrence, a Tensator Group Co. Completely customized for Duane Reade, it takes the form of a female greeter who welcomes entering customers and provides information on everything store-related. Currently, the greeter has seven different scripts, each of which speaks to a different store element.

"All seven run on a continuous loop," explained Keith Carpentier, senior business development manager-retail, Lawrence, a Tenstaor Group Company, Bay Shore, N.Y.

Carpentier added that an updated, version of the Virtual Assistant is in the works, with more interactive and dynamic capabilities.

Duane Reade is the first retailer to deploy the Virtual Assistant technology. The other commercial applications to date have been in the United Kingdom, at London Luton and Birmingham Airports.

"Our Virtual Greeter is an essential part of the 'wow factor' we have built into our newest store and serves as ambassador of the new Duane Reade experience," said Paul Tiberio, senior VP merchandising and CMO, Duane Reade. "The virtual aspect captures shoppers' attention from the moment they enter the store -- engaging their visual and auditory senses."

Click here for more on the new Duane Reade.

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