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Mall of America has a 'holographic' Christmas elf to help shoppers find stuff

Pout Alexa, Siri, and Cortana --- Santa's AI Ellie know if you've been naughty or nice
By Cal Jeffrey,
Minnesota’s Mall of America has partnered with a mixed reality startup called VNTANA to bring the “first-ever” holographic shopping concierge to the mall. The “Holiday Cottage” features an elf named Ellie that can direct shoppers to the right stores based on various criteria.

Using a microphone, shoppers can ask where to find an item they are looking for or browse using pre-defined sections such as men, women teens, or kids & babies. Choosing a general category will take users to more specific selections like Tech.

Ellie uses voice recognition and speech synthesis to communicate with mall goers and has a full directory of all the shops in the mall.

Sure, it’s a bit gimmicky and not really a hologram, but with more and more people taking their Christmas shopping online, even the biggest mall in America needs help attracting holiday shoppers.

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