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Smart Dubai Office Employs MENA’s First ‘Robot Receptionist’

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The Smart Dubai Office (SDO), has partnered with regional technology business solutions (TBS) provider Nearbuy to host a trial of the first ‘robot receptionist’ in the Middle East. Farah, which stands 1.50 metres tall, started work today at the Smart Dubai Office headquarters in the Dubai Design District.

It features a touch-screen panel where visitors to the office can check in, automatically alerting the employee they are meeting of their arrival. The robot will then escort the guest to the meeting room, allowing them to settle in while waiting for their host to join them.

Farah, which means happiness in Arabic, was named following an internal competition conducted at Smart Dubai. It will be subject to a probation period of three months, like a human employee. Its sophisticated programming means that it is capable of performing a range of other duties relevant to the traditional receptionist role, including taking guests’ orders for tea, coffee and other beverages, which it can then transmit to the office pantry for fulfillment, as well as security screening and taking payment orders where needed.

Her Excellency Dr Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr, Director General of the Smart Dubai Office, welcomed her new team member, saying, “Smart Dubai is delighted to host this ground-breaking experiment in artificial intelligence – the first of its kind in the region – at our offices. Our objective is not to replace humans with robots, rather to understand where we can automate some repetitive administrative functions to allow us to invest in and create new types of sustainable employment opportunities for talented people.”

HE Dr Aisha added: “Farah the robot has not replaced any of our team members seeing as we already had a touchscreen reception facility. It is our hope that this three-month experiment will give us some great insights into the potential uses of applied artificial intelligence in our quest to make Dubai a world-leading smart city. We are also looking forward to sharing the insights with other partner government entities as we additionally seek to maximise the use of new technologies in the public sector.”

Nicolas Standeart, CEO and founder of Nearbuy, which owns Farah, said: “As well as adding some fun to the workplace, robots are already providing invaluable, reliable and cost-effective business support to a number of companies globally. As a UAE home-grown company that is pioneering tech-based business solutions internationally, we are delighted to be partnering with Smart Dubai to experiment with workplace-based artificial intelligence in this exciting city we intentionally chose as a home base for our global business. We have no doubt that the insights gained will go on to benefit many organisations in the region and further afield.”

Developed in Germany, Werobots are the most advanced wayfinding robots developed to date. Nearbuy owns the exclusive licence for Werobots in the Middle East and has seamlessly integrated the technology with its other platforms. The home-grown company has developed world-leading digital tech-based solutions for public venues. Among the services the company offers to its business customers is tailored programming and leasing of robots, which can be utilised in a number of different functions, including information providing and wayfinding for visitors at airports, business districts, retail environments, events and corporate environments.

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HUAWEI Launches GoPaint Worldwide Creating Activity

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Huawei has officially kicked off the HUAWEI GoPaint Worldwide Creating Activity. From 5 January 2024 to 29 February 2024, participants can showcase their digital art skills in an online activity that embodies Huawei’s commitment to fostering creativity. The HUAWEI GoPaint Worldwide Creating Activity is a platform for creative individuals or anyone passionate about creating. With Huawei tablets designed to deliver delightful creative features, the activity aims to inspire creativity and empower more people to engage in artistic pursuits and to bring to life the concept of ‘Creation of Beauty’.

Recently, Huawei elevated the creative experience with the release of the HUAWEI MatePad Pro 13.2”, the ultimate tablet for creativity. It features a flexible OLED screen and an ultra-thin and lightweight design, with a stunning 94% screen-to-body ratio. Paired with the HUAWEI M-Pencil (3rd generation), which offers a 10,000+ pressure sensing level, the tablet enables mastery over a variety of artistic styles. Designed for creative minds, the HUAWEI MatePad Pro 13.2” ensures that your artistic vision is captured with unmatched precision and ease.

HUAWEI MatePad Pro 13.2” pre-orders are now available in the UAE at a price of AED3,399 with gifts worth AED 1,696 including HUAWEI FreeBuds Pro 2, the HUAWEI M-Pencil (3rd generation), Magnetic Keyboard, 3 months of free HUAWEI Care + and Microsoft Office 365. Customers who order the 512GB version of the tablet will also receive the HUAWEI FreeBuds Pro 2. The MatePad Pro 13.2” is available on Huawei’s official website and retailers.

Following this launch, the HUAWEI GoPaint Worldwide Creating Activity is extending the invitation to those passionate about art to continually inspire and energise their creative spirit. If you believe that to create is a universal calling, Huawei invites you to pick up your digital brush and ‘GoPaint’!

HUAWEI GoPaint will reward winners with a creation fund, including:

  • Best Creative Award (1 winner): $5000
  • Best Visual Award (1 winner): $5000
  • Best Storytelling Award (1 winner): $5000
  • Most Popular Award (2 winners): $5000
  • Honourable Mention (15 winners): $2000

How to Participate
To participate in the HUAWEI GoPaint Worldwide Creating Activity, simply submit your artwork in either of the following methods, before the submission deadline, 29 February 2024 at 24:00 Beijing Time (GMT +8):

Method 1: Open My HUAWEI app on your phone or tablet, register within the app, and submit your work on the GoPaint page in the app.

Method 2: Post your work on Instagram or Facebook with #HUAWEIGoPaint, and mention the huaweimobile official account.

A Creative Journey Through Culture, Cityscapes, and Characters

HUAWEI GoPaint Worldwide Creating Activity consists of three conceptual categories:

  • Culture – Culture is the calling of all creators, the essence of our soul, where experience meets inspiration, and possibilities are endless.
  • City – If the world is a blank canvas, its cities are the lines, dots and brushstrokes that colour it.
  • Character – We are nothing without the people around us. The everyday acts of kindness, bravery, love, and resilience that give our lives meaning and purpose.

Submission Requirements
Artworks should be submitted in either JPG or PNG format, with a resolution of at least 300 dpi, and a file size of no more than 20 MB. Each uploaded work must have a 30 to 80-word text description. Participants are encouraged to carefully review each category before submitting their work to the most suitable one. Participants can only use HUAWEI tablets to create their artwork – any model is acceptable.

For more details, please visit the official website: https://consumer.huawei.com/en/campaign/gopaint/

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Nothing Apparel Drop 1 Announced

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Nothing, the London-based consumer tech brand, has announced the first of several Limited Drops for its inaugural Apparel collection. The first two pieces will be available to purchase on nothing.tech from 11:00 GMT on Thursday 7 December and at Nothing Store Soho.

GCC customers can get their hands on the Limited First Drop exclusively at the Nothing Pop-up in Soledxb festival,  from 8-10 December and from 11th December onwards at FRAME Boutique till stock last. An ode to the 1970s IBM factory floor, the Labcoat embodies Nothing’s founding design principle: transparency.

Product details below:

  • Regular fit and thigh length
  • Multiple pockets with zip closures
  • Back bottom hem vent for mobility
  • Right chest pocket with multiple compartments and zip closure
  • Inside adjustable waist with drawstring
  • Hanger loop at back neck
  • YKK Natulon zippers made from recycled materials including PET bottles. Yarn used in the tape is made from 99% post-consumer recycled material.
  • Global Recycled Standard (GRS)
  • 100% biodegradable plant-based packaging

To top things off, there is the Transparent Cap (one size) that pairs effortlessly with Nothing’s Transparent Labcoat (available in small, medium, large, and extra-large sizes). Conceptualised with teenage engineering, Nothing Apparel is focused on quality-driven wardrobe staples designed to withstand the test of time, featuring a line of caps, coats, tracksuits and more.

The Transparent Cap will be sold at AED 149 and the Transparent Labcoat at AED 699. Further Apparel drops will be announced in 2024. Apparel will be available in all current markets where Nothing sells directly to consumers on nothing.tech.

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Monkey Distribution to Open More Funko Stores in the Region

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Monkey Distribution, the official franchise operator for Funko in the United Arab Emirates, has unveiled plans for an extensive retail expansion in the region. Set to launch in December, two new Funko stores will join the thriving retail landscape, building on the success of Monkey Distribution’s inaugural Funko franchise at Dubai Hills Mall last year.

The upcoming locations are poised to offer a diverse product range encompassing various categories within the expansive Funko universe. From a plethora of collectables to trendy Loungefly fashion accessories, games, toys, and more, consumers can anticipate a vibrant pop culture experience.

The first of the two new Funko stores will make its debut within Dubai Mall, situated on the second floor, starting December 1, 2023. Known as the world’s largest destination for shopping, entertainment, and leisure, Dubai Mall provides a fitting backdrop for Funko enthusiasts to immerse themselves in the brand’s captivating offerings. Subsequently, on December 15, 2023, Abu Dhabi will witness the opening of another Funko store within Reem Mall, also on the second floor.

Funko’s Chief Commercial Officer, Andy Oddie said, “We are excited to announce the opening of our new partnership stores as we increase our footprint in the United Arab Emirates region this December. The expansion is a testament to the demand for our unique pop culture products and reflects our commitment to providing our global fanbase with regional retail experiences.”

The eagerly awaited Funko store in Dubai Mall is set to offer an exclusive 96-square-meter retail experience for shoppers, while the Funko destination in Reem Mall will provide a 94-square-meter immersive world for customers. These new locations are poised to serve as vibrant and captivating portals into the expansive universe of a globally renowned entertainment and lifestyle brand.

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