By Claire Reilly

First came Princess Leia’s cry for help, then came the hologram of Dr. Lanning in the classic Will Smith blockbuster I, Robot. Now Acer is getting in on the projected human fun with a new roadshow that will be hitting Australian malls this summer.

The computer company has launched a shopping mall tour to promote its Aspire S3 Ultrabook to Australian consumers, giving shoppers the opportunity to get up close to the Acer computers and interact with a virtual sales person named Alicia Aspire.

Billed by Acer as “the latest in experiential marketing,” Alicia is created with a short-throw projector that projects the image of a salesperson onto an acrylic cutout, with sound created from a surface speaker that gives the illusion that the projection in speaking.

Spruiking the futuristic technology was Acer general manager of marketing, David Sunton.

“The core function for our virtual sales person is to step outside the box,” said Sunton. “Just like the Acer Ultrabook, Alicia Aspire breaks the barriers of technology. She can also be viewed from all angles and is positioned front centre to create maximum stopping power from shoppers.”

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Alicia will tour as a part of a dedicated Acer Zone that will be set up in five shopping malls across Sydney and Melbourne. While consumers will also have the opportunity to touch and feel Acer’s Aspire S3 Ultrabooks, Sunton said Alicia herself will no doubt lure passersby.

“This type of technology will allow us to make an impact with consumers,” he said. “The projected display is eye-catching and has never been seen before in Australia.

“What we’re trying to do is use technology as a means of reaching out to our customers but also has that personal touch. It is a great way for us to engage with our customers.”

Acer Experimental Zone locations (as provided by Acer):

– Westfield Chatswood, NSW (Level 3 Atrium, opposite Healing Hands)
Thursday 1st December – Sunday 11th December.

– Westfield Bondi Junction, NSW (Level 4, opposite Guess)
Thursday 15th December – Sunday 18th December.

– Macquarie Centre, NSW (Level 3, opposite Pretzel World)
Thursday 8th December – Sunday 18th December

– Chadstone, VIC (Ground level, opposite Coles)
Thursday 1st December – Sunday 11th December.

– Westfield Doncaster, VIC (Level 1, opposite The Coffee Club)
Thursday 22nd December – Sunday 25th December.

Alicia Aspire on display.