Kmart Australia uses AI and AR to bring KBot shopping experience in-home

The AR technology has been developed by Valis, while the AI platform is powered by the Oracle Digital Assistant platform.
Written by Aimee Chanthadavong, Contributor
Image: Kmart Australia

Kmart Australia has launched its KBot platform that uses a combination of augmented reality (AR) technology and artificial intelligence (AI) to enable shoppers to view products in their own homes.

The AR technology, developed by Valis, allows shoppers to view products in 3D in their own homes, while a conversational AI developed using Oracle Digital Assistant platform can help answer questions, including product dimensions and features, and recommend related products by converting speech to text.

"The immersive AR and AI experience was designed to bring joy and inspiration to our customers' lives, and with extra help from our AI chatbot personality -- KBot assist -- we have been able to make shopping easier for customers by sprinkling delight across the customer journey," Kmart head of digital Melissa Wong said.

See also: Augmented reality for business: Cheat sheet (TechRepublic)

Accessible via the klabs.com.au on any AR supported Apple or Android device, the KBot solution has been integrated with Kmart's existing Oracle Cloud CX technology.

"Digital assistants, and artificial intelligence more broadly, have reached mainstream adoption and are providing new and exciting brand experiences to customers," Oracle Australia and New Zealand vice president and regional managing director Cherie Ryan said.

"The KBot is a truly innovative experience, seamlessly blending AI and AR to create an engagement that is both fun and functional."

The news comes as Oracle announced it will be TikTok's cloud provider, giving it a 12.5% stake in the social media network and a key reference customer. Walmart is also set to take a 7.5% stake in the ByteDance owned company and will see the US retail giant provide "e-commerce, fulfilment payments, and other omnichannel services to TikTok Global".

In May, Kmart announced it was shifting its mainframe into the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud, with CTO Michael Fagan calling the move the "holy grail of infrastructure projects".

"The mainframe is the big one, it's notoriously difficult to do. For companies that have been born in the last five to 10 years, they probably don't have a mainframe, but if you're a Kmart or a Target -- we're 50 years and 100 years respectively -- and our mainframe, we've got some code in that mainframe that is older than me -- which is pretty old," he told ZDNet at the time.

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