It’s either ingenious or extremely lazy.
A robot is lining up at the flagship Apple Store in Sydney, Australia, in place of its human controller, who has to get on with her normal life.
In the smartest time management yet seen in an iPhone line, Lucy Kelly has outsourced the job to a telepresence robot, also called Lucy. It is an iPad attached to a Segway-type device that allows a person to be somewhat physically present despite not being there.
The robot arrived to take the position of fourth-in-line at the flagship Apple Store on George Street at 5 a.m. Thursday, with Kelly communicating through it from 6 a.m. It is believed to be the first time a robot has lined up and purchased an iPhone.
Kelly is meanwhile chilling in the warmth of her office, while her robot counterpart stands in the wind and rain. The company she works for, media agency Atomic 212, has sourced and built six of these robots to play with in their office — her boss even attended meetings in Sydney while he was in Bali using one of them.
“We use them for everything, just to show new technology. It is a cool demonstration of what the future of technology will be,” Kelly told Mashable Australia. “We are obsessed with them.” She said it works by using an app that allows a person to connect from anywhere and communicate through the iPad. Kelly has been using it to communicate with her new friends in the line and inquisitive passersby.Lucy is fourth in line to get the new iPhone 6S.
The robot is awaiting the arrival of the latest iPhones on Friday, the iPhone 6S and the iPhone 6S Plus. Australia is the first country in the world to get the devices, due to the advantage of timezones.
She will wait in line for one night, in a special tent that comes complete with a charger to keep her juiced up and gives shelter from the rain. Kelly will be her face and voice for the duration. “I am staying here the whole time,” she said. If all goes to plan, the robot will then purchase the iPhone without any human interaction.
She said the robot is “super cool” and it allows her to feel like she is there hanging out with the other tech geeks at the front of the line. “I wanted to be one of the first people to have the iPhone 6S, but obviously because of work I can’t spend two days standing in line waiting for a mobile phone,” she explained. “So my boss said ‘Just take the robot down, you’ll still be able to do your work, but you’ll still be waiting in line.'”
It joins entrepreneur Lindsay Handmer, who is first in line and has been camping outside the store for 17 days. On Thursday, the line grew significantly in size from the brave few who have withstood the elements since Apple’s announcement.
Kelly says there is no jealousy from those diehard fans who have been freezing through the nights. “Everyone thinks it is pretty cool, they were happy to let a robot go ahead,” she said.
Yep, we’re going with ingenious.
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