Apple has been granted a patent (number US 11775130 B2) for a “Guided Retail Experience.” It involves using a Mac, iPad, or iPhone for viewing items in virtual reality/augmented reality that a user may wish to purchase.

About the patent filing

Apple notes in the patent that conventional electronic consumer experiences allow a user to browse and purchase products online with an electronic device, such as a laptop or desktop computer, tablet computer, or smartphone. A user can access product information through a website or application, select a product, and purchase the product without interaction with another human.

However, Apple wants to offer techniques for enabling a retail experience in a computer-generated (CGR) environment that would offer instantaneous feedback, answers to questions, suggestions, demonstrations of products, and human connection of an in-person shopping experience. 

Current online consumer applications require a user to browse through menus or perform a search function to locate a product of interest. Additionally, the user is unable to fully interact with the online representation of the product and, therefore, cannot truly experience a full demonstration of the product while in a remote environment. 

Apple’s idea is to provide real-time communications with a remote salesperson (via a virtual communication session) who can guide a user through a shopping experience in a CGR environment. This allows a user to remain in a remote environment while having an interactive shopping experience with the salesperson, who can provide relevant products, make suggestions based on the interaction, and facilitate full demonstrations of various products and services in the CGR environment, according to the company.

The salesperson can cause a product, or a collection of products, to be displayed in the CGR environment, and the user can interact with the products to perform a demonstration of the product with or without input from the salesperson. The salesperson can also manipulate the products to point out features and demonstrate capabilities of the product without input from the user. The techniques disclosed herein provide the user with a retail experience that is in a remote environment such as the user’s house, but with the benefits and capabilities of an in-person shopping experience.

Summary of the patent filing

Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent filing: “The present disclosure relates to techniques for enabling a retail experience in a computer-generated reality environment. In some embodiments, the techniques include: generating a computer-generated reality environment, including presenting a virtual object representing a product in the computer-generated reality environment; providing a communication session with a remote user of the product while presenting the virtual object representing the product in the computer-generated reality environment; and while providing the communication session, adjusting the presentation of the virtual object representing the product in the computer-generated reality environment using information received from the communication session.”

Article provided with permission from AppleWorld.Today