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Fashion Island launches AI-powered mobile concierge service with IBM Watson

New smartphone texting tool, “At Your Service,” taps into artificial intelligence to help make shopping easier. Also new: a premium service to deliver Fashion Island purchases throughout O.C.

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (Dec. 12, 2016) — Fashion Island guests in search of a store, a service or a bite to eat can now find it instantly—by sending a text from their smartphones.

Fashion Island today announced the launch of a pilot program called “At Your Service,” a new mobile texting amenity that uses artificial intelligence to help guests shop and navigate the retail center.

Simply text 949-734-7364 and ask: “Where is Neiman Marcus located?” or “Where can I valet?” or “Where are the restrooms?” Shoppers can also inquire about a specific brand like “Tom Ford” or generic items like “sunglasses,” and receive tailored responses to find the stores, items and services they want.

“We’re always looking for ways to elevate the customer experience,” said Easther Liu, chief marketing officer of Irvine Company Retail Properties. “We believe our guests not only will find this mobile concierge incredibly helpful, but also appreciate the seamless access to fast information, whether it’s where to eat or where to purchase certain items at Fashion Island. Think of it as an enhanced directory right at your fingertips.”

Fashion Island partnered with IBM Watson via Satisfi, a location-based intelligent-engagement platform, to develop this pilot program. With Watson’s cognitive computing and machine-learning technology, “At Your Service” actually evolves, so the more questions that guests submit, the better the answers. IBM Watson’s artificial intelligence gained worldwide fame in 2011 when it beat two “Jeopardy!” mega-champions to win $1 million.

“Fashion Island is the first major shopping center in the country to implement this Watson-enhanced text message experience for retail customers at this scale,” said Don White, Satisfi’s co-founder and CEO. “It’s incredibly exciting to see this being piloted across a broader retail environment. It will really help to create a more personalized experience for Fashion Island shoppers with the comfortable and familiar interaction of text messaging.”

Also in time for the holidays, Fashion Island has introduced a new premium delivery service called O.C. Delivery Express, in partnership with BringPro. BringPro will pick up and deliver guests’ purchased items from Fashion Island.

“Consider it like having your own personal assistant to deliver almost anything from Fashion Island’s stores to anywhere in O.C.,” Liu said.

Cost is $12 per delivery for same day services. Deliveries must be scheduled by 2 p.m. for arrival of items between 4 and 7 p.m. For items 50 pounds or more, delivery fees start at $89. Information: OCDeliveryExpress.com.

About Fashion Island
As Orange County’s premier coastal shopping experience, Fashion Island features exclusive specialty boutiques, world-class department stores and a diverse assortment of restaurants and cafes. With nearly 16 million visitors a year, Fashion Island offers a sophisticated yet relaxed, resort-like atmosphere that is distinctively Southern California, with pristine views of the Pacific Ocean.

Owned by Irvine Company, Fashion Island is home to Orange County’s only Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, Bloomingdale’s Home Store and Macy’s – in addition to Alice + Olivia, Rodd & Gunn, Nespresso, American Tea Room, Urban Decay, NIKE, SoulCycle, Trina Turk, Vince, Joie and Halston Heritage. Fashion Island also features acclaimed restaurants such as Sushi Roku, FIG & OLIVE, Red O, CUCINA enoteca, Hopdoddy Burger Bar, Lemonade, True Food Kitchen and R+D Kitchen. For more information, please visit ShopFashionIsland.com.
About Satisfi
Satisfi is a location-based intelligent engagement platform that combines the speed and accuracy of automation and the personality of a live person. Using Satisfi, conversion opportunities can be driven in real-time by capturing customer intentions, sentiments, questions and needs. The resulting customer engagements enhance the on-site experience by introducing additional features and bring to light previously unknown information and insights.

About IBM Watson: Pioneering a New Era of Computing
Watson represents a new era in computing called cognitive computing, where systems understand the world in a way more similar to humans: through senses, learning, and experience. Watson continuously learns from previous interactions, gaining in value and knowledge over time. With the help of Watson, organizations are harnessing the power of cognitive computing to transform industries, help professionals do their jobs better, and solve important challenges. As part of IBM’s strategy to accelerate the growth of cognitive computing, Watson is open to the world, allowing a growing community of developers, students, entrepreneurs and tech enthusiasts to easily tap into the most advanced and diverse cognitive computing platform available today. Watson solutions are being built, used and deployed in more than 45 countries and across 20 different industries.

For more information on IBM Watson, visit: ibm.com/Watson and ibm.com/press/watson. Join the conversation at #ibmwatson.