Apple has been granted a patent (number US 11816800 B2) for a “Guided Consumer Experience” with a remote salesperson.

About the patent

The patent relates generally to consumer experiences using an electronic device such as an iPhone, iPad, or Mac. More specifically, it involves techniques for providing an interactive, guided consumer experience with computer-generated reality capability.

In the patent Apple says 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.

The patent involves techniques for enhancing a consumer experience, including online retail and customer support experiences. Apple says that online shopping can lack “the instantaneous feedback, answers to questions, suggestions, and human connection of an in-person shopping experience.”

What’s more, current online consumer applications require a user to browse through menus or perform a search function to locate a product of interest.” Apple wants to provide real-time communication with a remote salesperson (via an audio and/or video electronic communication session) who can demonstrate products on the user’s device. 

This allows a consumer to have an interactive conversation with the salesperson, who can provide relevant products and make suggestions based on the conversation. A salesperson can cause a product to be displayed on the user’s device via the electronic communication session, and the user can manipulate the product to see various portions and features. 

The salesperson can also manipulate the product to point out features of the product without user input. Apple says that this “provides a guided, remote shopping experience that allows a salesperson to lead a user through a shopping experience, from product selection to purchase, without requiring manual input by the user, but with the flexibility to allow a user to select and interact with products as desired.”

Summary of the patent

Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent: “In an exemplary process for providing a guided consumer experience, product information comprising an image of a product is displayed. A communication session with a remote user is provided. While providing the communication session, the display of product information is adjusted using information received from the communication session. 

“A representation of the product is displayed in computer-generated reality by capturing an image using a camera, generating a view of an environment by compositing a virtual object representing the product and the captured image, and displaying the view of the environment.”

Article provided with permission from AppleWorld.Today