Apple to beef up head-to-head comparisons in online stores
TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Apple to beef up head-to-head comparisons in online stores

Patent number 20110238699 at the US Patent & Trademark Office shows that Apple is working on head-to-head comparison features for its online stores.

The invention provides a comparison of a set of similar items includes: receiving from a first member of an online community a selection of a stored prior comparison created by another online community member of a set of similar items; providing to the first member a template for the comparison, the template being at least partially pre-populated using data from the stored prior comparison created by the other online community member; and receiving from the first member a submission of the comparison, wherein the comparison includes one or more modifications as made by the first member to the template. The inventors of the patent are Kenneth N. Chang, David A. Koski, Pedraum R. Pardehpoosh and Ralph E. Zazula.

Here's Apple's background and summary of the invention: "In the context of online stores, a user or potential customer of the store typically has for a particular type or class of item multiple different models from which to select. Different models may differ, for example, by available features, prices, manufacturers, etc. In some cases, administrators of an online store may provide comparisons of features and/or prices for different models of the same type of item to aid a user in the selection of a particular item.

"Such administrator supplied comparisons, however, typically do not include reviews on individual items and/or user feedback on items. A user of an online store may have access to reviews and/or feedback posted by others on individual items, but the user typically would have to expend time reading and sifting through the reviews for each individual item from a set of similar items under consideration to gain a sense of the pros and cons of each item. A single review and/or comparison of different models of the same type of item may exist from third parties (e.g., other web sites, magazine articles, etc.).

"However, a user or potential customer of the online store would have to locate such a review and/or comparison externally from the online store. It would be useful for a user of an online store to have access within an online store to side-by-side comparisons and reviews on a plurality of items of the same type. In addition, when making a decision on which item to select, e.g., for purchase, it might be useful to the user to receive, from someone who has knowledge and/or expertise on the type of item and who is not an employee or affiliate of the online store who may have an interest in selling an item and possibly not the best interests of the user in consideration, a recommendation on the best item in a set of similar items available at the online store.

"The invention can be implemented in numerous ways, including as a process, an apparatus, a system, a composition of matter, a computer readable medium such as a computer readable storage medium or a computer network wherein program instructions are sent over optical or communication links. In this specification, these implementations, or any other form that the invention may take, may be referred to as techniques.

"A component such as a processor or a memory described as being configured to perform a task includes both a general component that is temporarily configured to perform the task at a given time or a specific component that is manufactured to perform the task. In general, the order of the steps of disclosed processes may be altered within the scope of the invention.

"A detailed description of one or more embodiments of the invention is provided below along with accompanying figures that illustrate the principles of the invention. The invention is described in connection with such embodiments, but the invention is not limited to any embodiment. The scope of the invention is limited only by the claims and the invention encompasses numerous alternatives, modifications and equivalents.

"Numerous specific details are set forth in the following description in order to provide a thorough understanding of the invention. These details are provided for the purpose of example and the invention may be practiced according to the claims without some or all of these specific details. For the purpose of clarity, technical material that is known in the technical fields related to the invention has not been described in detail so that the invention is not unnecessarily obscured.

"Providing a comparison of a set of similar items is disclosed. In some embodiments, a selection of a set of similar items to be included in a comparison is received from a first member of an online community, and the comparison is stored so that the comparison can be presented to a second member of the online community when an indication is received that the comparison is of interest to the second member.

"In some embodiments, a 'head-to-head comparison' includes a comparison and/or review of a plurality of similar items or products. Such a head-to-head comparison may be useful, for example, to someone interested in purchasing a particular type of item but uncertain about which specific product to purchase. A head-to-head comparison can aid in making a decision about which item in a set of like items is the best or the best for a particular purpose or value.

"Allowing members of a relevant community, e.g., an online community (such as users of an online store), to create or define head-to-head comparisons that can be provided to other members of the community, e.g., other users or customers of the store in the case of an online store, when appropriate is disclosed. In many cases, the user community may represent a wealth of information about a set of similar items or products available, for example, from an online store (or other third party), and it would be useful to be able to provide a comparison of the set of similar items to other users.

"A user having some knowledge or expertise on a particular type of item may desire to create a head-to-head comparison that includes a plurality of items or products of that type. The author of a head-to-head comparison may include reviews and/or comparisons of various features associated with the items that are included in the head-to-head comparison as well as commentary on how the items differ.

"In some embodiments, the author may specify pros and cons of the items included in the head-to-head comparison. In some embodiments, the author may rank the items and/or indicate which item the author feels to be the best in the set of items included in the head-to-head comparison. In some such cases, the author may rank the items included in a head-to-head comparison differently based on the intended use of the items and/or may select different items to be the best for different uses or under different circumstances.

"In some embodiments, the items included in a head-to-head comparison are similarly priced. In some embodiments, a head-to-head comparison includes items that are differently priced, and in some such cases may include reviews that compare prices to features or performance. In some embodiments, similar items from different manufacturers are compared in a head-to-head comparison. In some embodiments, a head-to-head comparison includes multiple items from the same manufacturer.

"In some embodiments, when an author selects items to be included in a head-to-head comparison, a comparison grid including various features of the items selected is automatically generated and/or populated from product descriptions and/or specifications available at an online store so that the author does not have to supply such information when defining a head-to-head comparison. In some such cases, the author may have the ability to append to, delete from, modify, etc., information included in the automatically generated comparison grid.

"A head-to-head comparison created by one user of an online store may be useful to other users of the online store who are interested in the items and/or type of items included in the head-to-head comparison and may be presented to such an other user when an indication of interest in the items and/or type of items included in the head-to-head comparison is received."

Also at the US Patent & Trademark Office is a new patent (number 20110238713) for per thread garbage collection. Objects associated only with a thread that created them are tracked. At a garbage collection time for a particular thread, it is determined which objects associated only with that thread remain reachable from a restricted root set associated with the thread. Any thread-only objects that are not determined to be reachable are garbage collected. The inventors are Gerald Blaine Garst Jr., Gregory Robert Parker, Douglas Joshua Behnke and Patrick C. Beard.

-- Dennis Sellers

 
AAPL
$106.98
Apple Inc.
-0.36
MSFT
$46.05
Microsoft Corpora
-0.57
GOOG
$550.31
Google Inc.
+0.98

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Cocktail 8.0.1 - General maintenance and...
Cocktail is a general purpose utility for OS X that lets you clean, repair and optimize your Mac. It is a powerful digital toolset that helps hundreds of thousands of Mac users around the world get... Read more
LibreOffice 4.3.3.2 - Free Open Source o...
LibreOffice is an office suite (word processor, spreadsheet, presentations, drawing tool) compatible with other major office suites. The Document Foundation is coordinating development and... Read more
VMware Fusion 7.0.1 - Run Windows apps a...
VMware Fusion allows you to create a Virtual Machine on your Mac and run Windows (including Windows 8.1) and Windows software on your Mac. Run your favorite Windows applications alongside Mac... Read more
OneNote 15.3.2 - Free digital notebook f...
OneNote is your very own digital notebook. With OneNote, you can capture that flash of genius, that moment of inspiration, or that list of errands that's too important to forget. Whether you're at... Read more
Audio Hijack Pro 2.11.4 - Record and enh...
Audio Hijack Pro drastically changes the way you use audio on your computer, giving you the freedom to listen to audio when you want and how you want. Record and enhance any audio with Audio Hijack... Read more
Iridient Developer 3.0.0 beta 3 - Powerf...
Iridient Developer (was RAW Developer) is a powerful image conversion application designed specifically for OS X. Iridient Developer gives advanced photographers total control over every aspect of... Read more
TextWrangler 4.5.11 - Free general purpo...
TextWrangler is the powerful general purpose text editor, and Unix and server administrator's tool. Oh, and also, like the best things in life, it's free. TextWrangler is the "little brother" to... Read more
NeoFinder 6.6 - Catalog your external me...
NeoFinder (formerly CDFinder) rapidly organizes your data, either on external or internal disks, or any other volumes. It catalogs all your data, so you stay in control of your data archive or disk... Read more
Chromium 38.0.2125.111 - Fast and stable...
Chromium is an open-source browser project that aims to build a safer, faster, and more stable way for all Internet users to experience the web. FreeSMUG-Free OpenSource Mac User Group build is... Read more
Default Folder X 4.6.11 - Enhances Open...
Default Folder X attaches a toolbar to the right side of the Open and Save dialogs in any OS X-native application. The toolbar gives you fast access to various folders and commands. You just click... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Audio Defence : Zombie Arena (Games)
Audio Defence : Zombie Arena 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: A zombie shooter audio game. Made from gut-wrenching 3D binaural sound, for a new kind of weird immersion. You... | Read more »
RPG Asdivine Hearts (Games)
RPG Asdivine Hearts 1.1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.1.0 (iTunes) Description: SPECIAL PRICE50% OFF (USD 7.99 -> USD 3.99)!!! Travel alongside four companions and a cat in the adventure of a... | Read more »
Haunt the House: Terrortown (Games)
Haunt the House: Terrortown 1.0.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.0.1 (iTunes) Description: 66.6% OFF! SPECIAL SPOOKY HALLOWEEN LAUNCH PRICE! 66.6% OFF! ...What was that sound? Is somebody there? | Read more »
SAS: Zombie Assault 4 Review
SAS: Zombie Assault 4 Review By Jennifer Allen on October 30th, 2014 Our Rating: :: FLAWED SHOOTERUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Shoot everything that moves in this fun, if flawed, twin-stick shooter.   | Read more »
Naailde the Witch Review
Naailde the Witch Review By Amy Solomon on October 30th, 2014 Our Rating: :: PITCH-PERFECT STORYTELLINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Marvelous storytelling, narration, and moving illustrations make this storybook... | Read more »
1st & Goal Review
1st & Goal Review By Andrew Fisher on October 30th, 2014 Our Rating: :: FOR THE D&D LOVING QBUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad 1st & Goal is a board gamer’s football game, a football fan’s board game, and... | Read more »
French Developer Pated Unveils Seashine
French Developer Pated Unveils Seashine Posted by Ellis Spice on October 30th, 2014 [ permalink ] French one-man studio Pated has unveiled Seashine, “a poetic journey into the abyss.” Players take on the role of a jellyfish strugglin | Read more »
Agents of Storm: Tips, Tricks, and Strat...
Calling all agents: Would you like to see what we thought of this rather pretty base builder? Check out our Agents of Storm review! Have you downloaded Agents of Storm, been bowled over by the graphics, and aren’t quite sure what to do next? Never... | Read more »
Any.DO 2.0 Hopes to Help Manage Producti...
Any.DO 2.0 Hopes to Help Manage Productivity Posted by Ellis Spice on October 30th, 2014 [ permalink ] iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad | Read more »
Base Busters Review
Base Busters Review By Jennifer Allen on October 30th, 2014 Our Rating: :: FUN BUT RESTRICTED MIXUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Mixing up two forms of tower defense gaming and collectible cards, Base Busters is a fun... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Apple Regains Momentum As Windows Stutters An...
The latest smartphone sales data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, for the three months to March 2014, shows Apple performing strongly in the first quarter of the year, with sales bouncing back in... Read more
Worldwide Smartphone Shipments Increase 25.2%...
New smartphone releases and an increased emphasis on emerging markets drove global smartphone shipments above 300 million units for the second consecutive quarter, according to preliminary data from... Read more
Apple now offering refurbished 2014 15-inch M...
The Apple Store is now offering Apple Certified Refurbished 2014 15″ Retina MacBook Pros for up to $400 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and... Read more
Apple drops prices on refurbished 2013 Retina...
The Apple Store has dropped prices on 2013 Apple Certified Refurbished 13″ and 15″ Retina MacBook Pros, with Retina models now available starting at $999. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and... Read more
New 2.8GHz Mac mini on sale for $949, save $5...
Abt Electronics has the new 2.8GHz Mac mini in stock and on sale for $949.05 including free shipping. Their price is $50 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model from any reseller... Read more
Sale! 3.7GHz Quad Core Mac Pro available for...
 B&H Photo has the 3.7GHz Quad Core Mac Pro on sale for $2649 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $350 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price for this model from any... Read more
Mujjo Steps Up The Game With Refined Touchscr...
Netherlands based Mujjo have just launched their Refined Touchscreen Gloves, stepping up their game. The gloves feature a updated elegant design that takes these knitted gloves to the next level. A... Read more
Sale! Preorder the new 27-inch 5K iMac for $2...
 Abt Electronics has the new 27″ 3.5GHz 5K iMac on sale and available for preorder for $2374.05 including free shipping. Their price is $125 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this... Read more
Simplex Solutions Inc. Brings Secure Web Surf...
New York based Simplex Solutions Inc. has announced the release and immediate availability of Private Browser 1.0, its revolutionary new secure web browser developed for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch... Read more
Save up to $180 off MSRP with an Apple refurb...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 2014 MacBook Airs available for up to $180 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is free.... Read more

Jobs Board

Position Opening at *Apple* - Apple (United...
**Job Summary** Every day, business customers come to the Apple Store to discover what powerful, easy-to-use Apple products can do for them. As a Business Leader, Read more
Sr. Manager, *Apple* Deployment Programs fo...
**Job Summary** Apple is seeking candidates for a new position on the Education Content and Technology team. iPad and Mac is in the hands of millions of teachers and Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple I...
…important role that the ASC serves is that of providing an excellent Apple Customer Experience. Responsibilities include: * Promoting Apple products and solutions Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple I...
…important role that the ASC serves is that of providing an excellent Apple Customer Experience. Responsibilities include: * Promoting Apple products and solutions Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple I...
…important role that the ASC serves is that of providing an excellent Apple Customer Experience. Responsibilities include: * Promoting Apple products and solutions Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.