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

Macs Fan Control 1.3.1.0 - Monitor and c...
Macs Fan Control allows you to monitor and control almost any aspect of your computer's fans, with support for controlling fan speed, temperature sensors pane, menu-bar icon, and autostart with... Read more
NetShade 6.3.1 - Browse privately using...
NetShade is an anonymous proxy and VPN app+service for Mac. Unblock your Internet through NetShade's high-speed proxy and VPN servers spanning seven countries. NetShade masks your IP address as you... Read more
Dragon Dictate 4.0.7 - Premium voice-rec...
With Dragon Dictate speech recognition software, you can use your voice to create and edit text or interact with your favorite Mac applications. Far more than just speech-to-text, Dragon Dictate lets... Read more
Persecond 1.0.2 - Timelapse video made e...
Persecond is the easy, fun way to create a beautiful timelapse video. Import an image sequence from any camera, trim the length of your video, adjust the speed and playback direction, and you’re done... Read more
GIMP 2.8.14p2 - Powerful, free image edi...
GIMP is a multi-platform photo manipulation tool. GIMP is an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program. The GIMP is suitable for a variety of image manipulation tasks, including photo retouching,... Read more
Sandvox 2.10.2 - Easily build eye-catchi...
Sandvox is for Mac users who want to create a professional looking website quickly and easily. With Sandvox, you don't need to be a Web genius to build a stylish, feature-rich, standards-compliant... Read more
LibreOffice 5.0.1.2 - Free, open-source...
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
f.lux 36.1 - Adjusts the color of your d...
f.lux makes the color of your computer's display adapt to the time of day, warm at night and like sunlight during the day. Ever notice how people texting at night have that eerie blue glow? Or wake... Read more
VirtualBox 5.0.2 - x86 virtualization so...
VirtualBox is a family of powerful x86 virtualization products for enterprise as well as home use. Not only is VirtualBox an extremely feature rich, high performance product for enterprise customers... Read more
File Juicer 4.43 - Extract images, video...
File Juicer is a drag-and-drop can opener and data archaeologist. Its specialty is to find and extract images, video, audio, or text from files which are hard to open in other ways. In computer... Read more

ReBoard: Revolutionary Keyboard (Utilit...
ReBoard: Revolutionary Keyboard 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Utilities Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Do everything within the keyboard without switching apps! If you are in WhatsApp, how do you schedule a... | Read more »
Tiny Empire (Games)
Tiny Empire 1.1.3 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.1.3 (iTunes) Description: Launch cannonballs and blow tiny orcs into thousands of pieces in this intuitive fantasy-themed puzzle shooter! Embark on an... | Read more »
Astropad Mini (Productivity)
Astropad Mini 1.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Productivity Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: *** 50% off introductory price! ​*** Get the high-end experience of a Wacom tablet at a fraction of the price with Astropad... | Read more »
Emo Chorus (Music)
Emo Chorus 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Music Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: Realistic Choir simulator ranging from simple Chorus emulation to full ensemble Choir with 128 members. ### introductory offer... | Read more »
Forest Spirit (Games)
Forest Spirit 1.0.5 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0.5 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Ski Safari 2 (Games)
Ski Safari 2 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: The world's most fantastical, fun, family-friendly skiing game is back and better than ever! Play as Sven's sister Evana, share... | Read more »
Lara Croft GO (Games)
Lara Croft GO 1.0.47768 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0.47768 (iTunes) Description: Lara Croft GO is a turn based puzzle-adventure set in a long-forgotten world. Explore the ruins of an ancient... | Read more »
Whispering Willows (Games)
Whispering Willows 1.23 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.23 (iTunes) Description: **LAUNCH SALE 50% OFF** - Whispering Willows is on sale for 50% off ($4.99) until September 9th. | Read more »
Calvino Noir (Games)
Calvino Noir 1.1 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.1 (iTunes) Description: The film noir stealth game. Calvino Noir is the exploratory, sneaking adventure through the 1930s European criminal underworld.... | Read more »
Angel Sword (Games)
Angel Sword 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $6.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Prepare to adventure in the most epic full scale multiplayer 3D RPG for mobile! Experience amazing detailed graphics in full HD.... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

iPad Air 2 on sale for up to $100 off MSRP
Best Buy has iPad Air 2s on sale for up to $100 off MSRP on their online store for a limited time. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Sale prices available for online... Read more
MacBook Airs on sale for $100 off MSRP
Best Buy has MacBook Airs on sale for $100 off MSRP on their online store. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Sale prices for online orders only, in-store prices may vary... Read more
Big Grips Lift Handle For iPad Air and iPad A...
KEM Ventures, Inc. which pioneered the extra-large, super-protective iPad case market with the introduction of Big Grips Frame and Stand in 2011, is launching Big Grips Lift featuring a new super-... Read more
Samsung Launches Galaxy Tab S2, Its Most Powe...
Samsung Electronics America, Inc. has announced the U.S. release of the Galaxy Tab S2, its thinnest, lightest, ultra-fast tablet. Blending form and function, elegant design and multitasking power,... Read more
Tablet Screen Sizes Expanding as iPad Pro App...
Larger screen sizes are gaining favor as the tablet transforms into a productivity device, with shipments growing 185 percent year-over-year in 2015. According to a new Strategy Analytics’ Tablet... Read more
Today Only: Save US$50 on Adobe Elements 13;...
Keep the memories. lose the distractions. Summer’s winding down and it’s time to turn almost perfect shots into picture perfect memories with Elements 13. And get the power to edit both photos and... Read more
1.4GHz Mac mini on sale for $449, save $50
Best Buy has the 1.4GHz Mac mini on sale for $50 off MSRP on their online store. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Price for online orders only, in-store price may vary... Read more
12-inch 1.1GHz Gold MacBook on sale for $1149...
B&H Photo has the 12″ 1.1GHz Gold Retina MacBook on sale for $1149.99 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $150 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this... Read more
27-inch 3.3GHz 5K iMac on sale for $1849, sav...
Best Buy has the 27″ 3.3GHz 5K iMac on sale for $1849.99. Their price is $150 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if... Read more
Worldwide Tablet Shipments Expected to Declin...
Does Apple badly need a touchscreen convertible/hybrid laptop MacBook? Yes, judging from a new market forecast from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker, which... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Music, Business Operations - Apple (...
**Job Summary** This role in Apple Music and in iTunes is working with…the songs that we all enjoy listening to in Apple Music. Your job will be to work wit Read more
Hardware Systems Integration Engineer - *App...
**Job Summary** We are seeking an enthusiastic electrical engineer for the Apple Watch team. This is a design engineering position that entails working with Read more
Engineering Project Manager - *Apple* TV -...
**Job Summary** The iTunes Apps project management team oversees iTunes, Apple TV, DRM and iOS Applications. We are looking for a project manager to help manage and Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail Online Store: Customer Insigh...
**Job Summary** Apple Retail (Online Store) is seeking an experienced e-commerce analytics professional to join the Customer Insights Team. The Web e-Commerce Analyst Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.