The bookstore opens in Xiong’an and it enables customers to borrow, return, purchase a wide variety of books – all without a single staff member.
Last Tuesday, the first entirely technology-run bookstore finally became available to the citizens of Xiong’an New Area, built as a result of a collaboration between Hebei Mobile Group and Xinhua Bookstore.
The bookstore enables its customers to do the “usual stuff” – borrow, return and purchase an impressive assortment of books, magazines, and newspapers – all through the use of machines, that also help navigate the user around the shop and find the publications they are searching for.
The experience is highly personalized – and after a couple uses, it recommends new reads based on analysis of the customer’s preferences, just like a real-life lovely librarian would.
But the perks do not end there – 5G internet speeds up to 1 Gbps enable ultra quick Internet for online reading as well as downloads. The high-rate, large-bandwidth and low-latency features make download rates nearly 10 times faster than usual.
Apart from being a cozy reading space, the bookstore will also serve as a multi-functional art center – with various cultural lectures planned to take place.
How does the unmanned bookstore work?
The bookstore is equipped with two types of machines – one for registration purposes, such as account and face information collection; the other for borrowing, returning and purchasing books. Payment can be done via WeChat, an easy and quick-to-use Chinese messaging and social media app.
Once registered, a customer can access the bookstore and its features without an ID card, using only facial recognition, making the customer experience even easier.
While it is the first entirely electronic-based bookstore, it is not the first unmanned one – in Dubai, a “trust” bookstore opened last year, relying entirely on its customers’ honesty.
The newly opened Xiong’an bookstore is, however, still under project commissioning to ensure everything works well, after which it is planned to expand.
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