Apple wants their idevices to enhance your shopping center experience
TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Apple wants their idevices to enhance your shopping center experience

An Apple patent (number 20100198626) involving systems and methods for accessing shopping center services using a portable electronic device has appeared at the US Patent & Trademark Office. It's directed to systems and methods for enhancing a user's experience at a shopping center. In particular, it's directed to providing a "heat map" to indicate popular areas of or products in a mall.

In some embodiments, an integrated application available on an electronic device can provide information for promotional and available sales of goods and services, allow a user to browse and search through available content providers of the shopping center, such as parking, restaurants, and clothing stores, to purchase content based on the personal needs of a user. In some embodiments, an application available on an electronic device can check for the availability of particular items and show ratings or reviews for stores carrying the items. In some embodiments, In particular, the integrated application can provide a "heat map" to indicate popular areas of or items in a mall. The inventors are Christine Kim Cho and Stanley Carl Ng.

Here's Apple's summary of the invention: "As shoppers visit shopping malls or various other types of consumer centers, many interactions between the shoppers and the shopping center can take place. For example, a shopper can interact with a parking lot attendant at the shopping center in order to find an available or most convenient parking space, can interact with a shopping mall map or information center to find stores of interest, can interact with a sales clerk to find an item of interest, can interact with magazines and brochures to try and determine what are popular items and stores, and can interact with restaurants and other services at the shopping center to reserve certain services. All of these interactions can require distinct actions from the shopper from different devices or elements. For example, a shopper can talk with a parking attendant, peruse a physical shopping mall directory, and use a phone to make restaurant reservations by calling a restaurant of choice.

"Although this combination of approaches for interacting with a shopping center can be serviceable, it remains cumbersome and requires the shopping center to accommodate all of the possible forms of interaction. From a shopper's perspective, the lack of centralization of interactions with the shopping center provider and with the available shopping-related services can require more effort from the shopper wishing to take advantage of the shopping center, and perhaps even dissuade the shopper from using available services (thus at a cost to the shopping center provider).

"Moreover, this approach may not provide a shopper with the most accurate information regarding what items or stores are popular. For example, a shopper may only have a magazine's or an advertisement's claim that a particular item is currently popular, and may not have any real world data on the popularity of that item (e.g., data such as how often the item is purchased).

"This is directed to systems and methods for providing an integrated application on a portable electronic device for accessing shopping center services. Moreover, this is directed to an integrated application on a portable electronic device for providing a "heat map" to indicate popular areas of or items in a shopping center.

"In some embodiments, the integrated application can interface with one or more service providers (e.g., vendors, shops, restaurants, parking lots, information centers, entertainment venues, or other suitable service providers) in the shopping center to provide access to different services and information made available by a shopping center. As one illustration, the integrated application can receive information from a server of a parking service provider to determine areas of available parking, available parking closest to a desired store, the location of a user's vehicle, or other suitable information related to parking. As another illustration, the integrated application can receive information related to movie times from a server of a movie theater service provider, can receive information related to store hours and available products from a vendor service provider, or receive any other suitable information.

"In some embodiments, the integrated application can receive information from service providers that includes metadata associated with those service providers. The metadata can define, for example, attributes of the goods and services offered by a service provider (e.g., types of clothing, brands of clothing, color, how many of a particular item are currently in stock, types of food, or other suitable attributes), attributes of the service provider (e.g., type of store, hours of operation, location of the store in the shopping center) or any other suitable characteristic of a service provider. Using the metadata, the electronic device can compare goods and services from different stores or providers, and recommend combinations of goods from different stores or providers.

"In some embodiments, the integrated application can provide personalized maps of a shopping center (e.g., maps showing a user's current location in real-time, a map showing preferred service providers, or other personalized map). In some embodiments, special promotions and offers can be received by a user's electronic device through the integrated application. In some embodiments, the integrated application can use the electronic device as a key to access certain goods or services provided by the shopping center service provider (e.g., a key to access to a shopping center's bathrooms, a key to access a specific parking space or elevator, a ticket to purchase a reserved item at a store, or the like).

"The integrated application can interface with servers from several service providers to receive current information as to the availability and price of a particular product. For example, in response to a user selection of a particular item from a catalog displayed by the device, the electronic device can determine, from an appropriate source, the nearest store(s) carrying the item and the prices of the item in each of the stores. In addition to checking availability, the integrated application can provide a user with the ability to search for products, to reserve products (e.g., by pre-paying for an item), to locate stores or other service providers in a shopping center, or any combination of the above.

"In some embodiments, the integrated application can map routes to a desired product. For example, in response to a user indicating they desire "Product A", the integrated application can locate a store currently possessing Product A, and then display a map showing a route from the user's current location to the located store. As another example, in response to a user indicating they desire several products, the integrated application can locate one or more stores currently possessing these products, and then generate a route through the shopping center that can bring the user to each of the stores. The generated route may, for example, be a shortest route that takes the user to the stores, a route the allows the user to end at a desired location (e.g., the user may desire to end their shopping near a Food Court so they can eat, or the user may desire to end their shopping near an exit to a parking lot), or any other suitable route.

"To assist users in purchasing new content at the shopping center, the integrated application can provide product recommendations based on user preferences. For example, the integrated application can compare a database of user preferences to information related to new products to determine whether there are any matches. As another example, the integrated application can include or access a database storing information reflecting the items already owned by the user. The integrated application may then compare new items in the shopping center with the items already owned by the user, and provide recommendations to a user based on these comparisons.

"In some embodiments, a 'heat map' can be provided to indicate the popularity of a service provider, product, or both to a user. For example, the integrated application can receive information related to stores in which a lot of customers are currently purchasing items, or related to the number of a particular product that is being purchased. Based on this information, the integrated application can then determine which service providers, products, or both are currently popular (e.g., where a product or service provider can be considered more popular when more people are buying this product or making purchases at this store, respectively). The integrated application may then generate a heat map to symbolically display the popularity of service providers, products, or both to a user."

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

How to build a successful civilisation i...
GodFinger 2 grants you godlike powers, leaving you to raise a civilization of followers. In the spirit of games like Black & White, the GodFinger games will see you building bigger and better villages, developing more advanced technology and... | Read more »
How to get all the crabs in Mr Crab 2
Mr. Crab 2 may look like a cutesy platformer for kids, but if you're the kind of person who likes to complete a game 100%, you'll soon realise that it's a tougher than a crustacean's shell. [Read more] | Read more »
How to be a star in Britney Spears: Amer...
If you've ever wanted to be a star, baby, then you've probably already checked out Britney Spears: American Dream and are happily making your way up the charts. But fame doesn't come easy, and everyone needs a helping hand sometimes. So we've got... | Read more »
AppSpy is hiring a part time Staff Write...
| Read more »
How to save lives in ER Surgery Simulato...
A serious earthquake has struck a nearby town in ER Surgery Simulator - Emergency Doctor, and it’s up to you to save the victims. [Read more] | Read more »
Tips and tricks to get a high score in G...
Ketchapp Games loves the endless runner genre. And its newest game, Gravity Switch, is no exception. Gravity Switch takes a fresh approach, though, as you move a block, suspended in zero gravity, safely through a maze of shifting pillars. If the... | Read more »
Tips and tricks to get a high score in S...
Smash Fu is a high-paced tile-tapping game that requires quick reflexes and some practice. You’ll have to smash bricks with the skill of a seasoned black belt to get a high score. To raise the stakes a bit, you’ll also have to avoid tapping any... | Read more »
How to keep the ball rolling in Dropple
If you're new to the minimalist puzzler Dropple, you may find yourself struggling to make it beyond the first couple of steps before your ball falls into the endless abyss below. [Read more] | Read more »
Game Craft releases new Legend of War ti...
Set for release at the end of this month, real time strategy title Legend of War seems sure to delight with a veritable feast of sweet features to get stuck into. Developed by Game Craft, the game is due for release through both the App Store and... | Read more »
How not to die in Traffic Rider
Traffic Rider, an Out Run-esque game in which your ride a motorcycle recklessly into trffic, might not seem particularly complicated. [Read more] | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Apple refurbished iMacs available for up to $...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2015 21″ & 27″ iMacs available for up to $350 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free. The following models are available: - 21″ 3.... Read more
Textkraft Professional Becomes A Mobile Produ...
The new update 4.1 of Textkraft Professional for the iPad comes with many new and updated features that will be particularly of interest to self-publishers of e-books. Highlights include import and... Read more
SnipNotes 2.0 – Intelligent note-taking for i...
Indie software developer Felix Lisczyk has announced the release and immediate availability of SnipNotes 2.0, the next major version of his productivity app for iOS devices and Apple Watch.... Read more
Pitch Clock – The Entrepreneur’s Wingman Laun...
Grand Rapids, Michigan based Skunk Tank has announced the release and immediate availability of Pitch Clock – The Entrepreneur’s Wingman 1.1, the company’s new business app available exclusively on... Read more
13-inch 2.9GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for...
B&H Photo has the 13″ 2.9GHz Retina MacBook Pro (model #MF841LL/A) on sale for $1599 including free shipping plus NY tax only. Their price is $200 off MSRP. Amazon also has the 13″ 3.9GHz Retina... Read more
Apple price trackers, updated continuously
Scan our Apple Price Trackers for the latest information on sales, bundles, and availability on systems from Apple’s authorized internet/catalog resellers. We update the trackers continuously: - 15″... Read more
Clearance 12-inch Retina MacBooks available s...
B&H Photo has dropped prices on leftover 2015 12″ Retina MacBooks with models now available starting at $999. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 12″ 1.1GHz Gray Retina MacBook... Read more
Check Apple prices on any device with the iTr...
MacPrices is proud to offer readers a free iOS app (iPhones, iPads, & iPod touch) and Android app (Google Play and Amazon App Store) called iTracx, which allows you to glance at today’s lowest... Read more
New 2016 13-inch 256GB MacBook Air on sale fo...
B&H Photo has the new 13″ 1.6GHz/256GB MacBook Air (model MMGG2LL/A) on sale for $1149 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $50 off MSRP. Amazon has the 13″ 1.6GHz/256GB... Read more
Apple refurbished iPad Air 2s available start...
Apple has Certified Refurbished iPad Air 2 available starting at $339. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 128GB Wi-Fi iPad Air 2: $499 - 64GB Wi-Fi iPad... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Nissan Service Technicians - Apple A...
Apple Automotive is one of the fastest growing dealer...and it shows. Consider making the switch to the Apple Automotive Group today! At Apple Automotive , Read more
ISCS *Apple* ID Site Support Engineer - APP...
…position, we are looking for an individual who has experience supporting customers with Apple ID issues and enjoys this area of support. This person should be Read more
Automotive Sales Consultant - Apple Ford Linc...
…you. The best candidates are smart, technologically savvy and are customer focused. Apple Ford Lincoln Apple Valley is different, because: $30,000 annual salary Read more
*Apple* Support Technician II - Worldventure...
…global, fast growing member based travel company, is currently sourcing for an Apple Support Technician II to be based in our Plano headquarters. WorldVentures is Read more
Restaurant Manager (Neighborhood Captain) - A...
…in every aspect of daily operation. WHY YOU'LL LIKE IT: You'll be the Big Apple . You'll solve problems. You'll get to show your ability to handle the stress and Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.