Could lonely hearts looking for robot love provide an additional revenue stream for tech retailers?

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There have been plenty of films over the years depicting romantic connections between humans and robots, but the dating world being fused with droids may be closer than we imaged.

Romance, relationships and sex with robots is nothing new. In fact, this time last year, PCR pondered whether erotic bots could be the next big thing in tech retail.

In 2015, tech company Erotic Chatbots said we’re not far off the point where we’d feel comfortable asking for a mechanical hand in marriage.

“In the half-light of virtual community, we may feel utterly alone. Taking that intimacy to another level, and ‘making’ or ‘attracting’ an intelligent virtual-lover or partner which understands and wants to please you, is perhaps an appealing proposition to a lot of people,” said the firm.

Today, new ComRes research published by FutureFest has found that 26 per cent of young people aged 18-34 in the UK would happily date a robot.

While a quarter of UK youngster have no problem with dating a droid, the research reveals that they’d prefer their beau to look like a real-life human being.

So all this time that we’ve been wondering if we’ll see robots taking the place of employees, but they might actually take the place of your future partner.

What does this mean for the tech retail space?

While it may be a little way off right not, would it really be so surprising for physical and online tech retailers to stock humanoid bots intended for romantic purposes?

Look at the products you were selling 20 years ago and think about what your reaction would have been to being able to control the heating, lights and security camera in your home all via a screen on a mobile phone while you're on a bus.

We’ve all seen technology used in products such as smartphones, tablets, wearables and TVs boom in relatively short spaces of time. And as the demand grows, the tech advances at alarming rates with more and more companies moving into those categories to offer products at various price points.

If this happens in the robotics market, would it really be so strange to see dedicated droid showrooms in some of the UK’s biggest retailers, akin to John Lewis’ largest ever smart home experience and Overclockers UK’s permanent Vive Room Scale VR in-store experience?

While all of this might sound like a great idea, just remember that professor Stephen Hawking has warned that robots could end mankind.

“It would take off on its own, and redesign itself at an ever increasing rate,” he said. “Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution couldn’t compete, and would be superseded.”

Gulp.

Human/robot love via Shutterstock

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