Retail in Asia

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SKT, Starbucks partner for AI-based coffee order service

Starbucks to take back the remaining stores in China - Retail in Asia

South Korean mobile carrier SK Telecom said it is partnering with Starbucks Coffee Korea to launch a voice-activated coffee order service using the company’s artificial intelligence speaker Nugu.

Under an agreement, SKT plans to connect Nugu with Starbuck’s Siren order service on its application, allowing consumers to order drinks through voice commands.

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However, customers must use Starbucks’ siren order service. Siren Orders is a service that lets customers choose their preferred menu and nearby stores before they go to the store through the Starbucks mobile app, and then get their drinks quickly without waiting.

The two are working together to launch the service by the end of the year.  The combination of Nugu with commerce is the fourth after Domino, BBQ, and 11st. com.

SKT recently introduced a portable edition of the AI speaker, which is about the size of a mug, with an aim to expand use of the device outdoors. Once the service is launched, a Nugu user will be able to order a Starbucks drink at a shop of his or her choice by speaking to the device.

The user will just need to go to the shop to pick up the drink. SKT also plans to link the Nugu device program to its navigation platform T Map in order to enable drivers to order drinks at drive-through Starbucks shops by making verbal orders behind the wheel.

“We are delighted to offer easy and convenient voice order service to customers who use Starbucks coffee through this alliance,” said Lee Sang-ho, head of the AI business unit at SK Telecom. “We expect the two companies to continue expanding cooperation to develop AI based service” he added.

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“By partnering with SK Telecom, we will provide Starbucks’ innovative digital experience to customers who use drive-thru shops and siren orders,” said Baek Ji-woong, marketing and digital manager at Starbucks Coffee Korea.