A Chinese start-up, A.I. Nemo, claims to be the world’s first smart companion robot; it helps people communicate with family members more easily and brings families closer together.

According to an article on Tech in Asia, A.l. Nemo is a smart companion robot that helps people to communicate with their family members via a pan-tracking camera and a face recognition-enabled video function when they are not at home. Users who aren’t at home can remotely control the device through a mobile app and users at home can send notifications to those who are not around. Staying in close touch with elderly parents and young children is the key message conveyed in A.I. Nemo’s latest promotional videos.

Family is the best team

Working-age consumers in China have shown a strong desire to spend more time with their family but appear to be just too busy to do so. According to Mintel’s Chinese Consumers – Embracing the Change China 2014 report, 72% of respondents say that their personal goal for the year is to spend more time with their family, while 26% say they would like this to be a goal, but are not sure they’ll manage it.

Besides A.I. Nemo, we have seen a variety of products and services that help consumers constantly stay in contact with their family members. Butterfly is a piece of wearable tech designed for seniors that allows their families to keep an eye on them remotely, monitoring health and location in real time. BonBonBear’s children safety watch offers tracking, talking, and geo-fencing features so parents can feel more in control and less worried.

For people who are looking for immediate physical comfort rather than via digital technology, Japan has launched an anti-loneliness chair to comfort the aging population and a Tokyo café offers to place a stuffed toy opposite solo diners as company to alleviate loneliness.

Consumers today seem busier than ever. It is difficult for them to strike a balance between work and family time. Unfortunately many people’s emotional wellbeing is suffering due to a lack of interaction with the people around them. Brands could design marketing campaigns that encourage, involve and reward consumers who spend time with their families via their products or services.

Based in Shanghai, Philix Liu is Mintel’s Trends analyst for the APAC region. He publishes innovations, creative marketing campaigns, new designs and other trends related content happening currently. He also helps inspire brands and agencies onsite to innovate in the APAC region. Before joining Mintel, Philix held a strategic planner role at an advertising agency in Shanghai and a qualitative research role at TNS in Beijing. He’s also gained digital marketing experience as an in-house marketer in Boston.

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