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Apple Trying to Improve Online Shopping Atmosphere?

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Apr 12, 2001
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MacNN detailed a new patent application from Apple that explores methods of "enhancing online shopping atmosphere". Specifically, Apple notes that while online shopping can be far more convenient than traditional retail stores, the experience can feel "sterile and isolating".

To address that point, they propose showing users where other customers are in the store, even allowing customers to interact with others while shopping.






This would allow you to see what products people are looking at, and by clicking on one of the other visitor icons, customers could even ask questions to users about why they'd left one product or gone to another product. This visual representation can be used to help with live real-time changes in interest:
For example, if an author has been invited to participate in a live chat hosted by the Acme store, an icon of the book may appear in [a region] alerting customers (in all departments) that a special event is occurring.
Users could, of course, opt-out in certain privacy settings, but these techniques could be applied to both Apple's Online Store as well as their iTunes Store.

Article Link
 

bbbensen

macrumors 6502
Feb 24, 2008
387
0
It sounds like a Second Life....

I dont know how they will implement this, unless its all flash or something.
It will be interesting!

Edit: Saw pics....

Do we get an avatar too?!
 
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Duncan-Idaho

macrumors member
Jan 15, 2008
33
0
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU like Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/420.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 Mobile/4A102 Safari/419.3)

I agree, sounds like Second Life or Home on the PS3. It would be cool to see this, web 3.0 is on the way.
 
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OS X Dude

macrumors 6502a
Jun 30, 2007
989
245
UK
Nice, but hopefully won't make iTunes Store/Apple Store take eons to open up.

It's a nice idea, but i could live without it.

Now, iPhone OS 2.0.... GIMME!!!
 
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bbbensen

macrumors 6502
Feb 24, 2008
387
0
Nice, but hopefully won't make iTunes Store/Apple Store take eons to open up.


It does seem like it would take a hefty computer to run it, and I bet it wont work with PPC either.

My iBook wont run Second Life well..... So how will I buy a new MBP if they implement it? D:
 
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sukanas

macrumors 6502a
Nov 15, 2007
684
0
this idea of a virtual store seems completely stupid

it reminds me of those 3d avatars make ur own character things u see on myspace ads....
 
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Bonte

macrumors 65816
Jul 1, 2002
1,002
206
Bruges, Belgium
I see books up there, Apple better start soon with there eBook service and device. :apple:

This virtual store doesn't need to be in 3D, maybe a top-down look in the virtual sections of the store. Its also a first step into a social web 2.0 site, the other social sites are looking at ways to monazite there visitors but Apple is looking at it from another perspective. A bit like Ebay is trying to do but not with big success.
 
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redsteven

macrumors 6502a
Aug 22, 2006
561
7
Nice, but hopefully won't make iTunes Store/Apple Store take eons to open up.

It's a nice idea, but i could live without it.

Yeah. I don't want to trade in efficiency for prettiness here. So far I think apple's managed to give us efficiency AND prettiness, so i won't any judgments on this patent.

I'll wait to see what happens
 
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erd787

macrumors newbie
Mar 17, 2008
6
0
I think this is stupid too

this idea of a virtual store seems completely stupid

it reminds me of those 3d avatars make ur own character things u see on myspace ads....

I agree 100%... I actually buy from Apple's online store to avoid the crowds of emo teenagers that populate Apple stores, as well as the "hip" employees that often know less about my computer than I do. The last thing I need is to interact with these people online.

This will never happen, IMO.
 
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MattJessop

macrumors regular
Apr 24, 2007
215
42
Manchester, UK
This is exactly where Online retail really needs to go imho. Of course there would be privacy concerns, but this is kinda like going into a shop, with the shop assistants there - but they never bug you. They're only there to talk to you IF you want or need help. That alone would be an improvement to me :)

Kudos to Apple for getting on this first.
 
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hyddan

macrumors member
Dec 29, 2006
86
0
I can see the spambots spew advertising messages while shopping online already...

/add

The Wii channels for mariokart is a good example of this stuff. Cute cuddly avatars storming graphic presentations of a globe. Nice, effective and actually useful. Change the globe for apple store and this is pretty much it.
 
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brentonbrenton

macrumors member
Oct 4, 2002
61
31
I really hope this doesn't come about. I love to shop online, usually just browsing. I shop online so I'm not being pestered by shop assistants and other shoppers.

Maybe better ability for a shopper to get help, but otherwise, why do you really want to see where other shoppers currently are?
 
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netdog

macrumors 603
Feb 6, 2006
5,759
37
London
Do we get an avatar too?!

You must attain 6502 status by making 500 purchases (Apple products only) before you will be awarded with an avatar.

Further, in keeping with Apple tradition, Steve has deemed that Apple will decide what avatar you want for you. ;)
 
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radicalevan

macrumors newbie
Aug 1, 2006
3
0
not MS Bob

I don't think it is a second life sort of think. I imagined the store being just as it is now, except as you are looking at that iPod Hi-Fi, there is a nice little box next to the picture that says "appleID#1 is looking at this too." From there, I imagine you could click on the name of the person and talk to them about the ipod hifi, or whatever. No 3d display crap things. Maybe just numbers on the main apple store page indicating how many people are in each area, and so forth.
 
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iJesus

macrumors 6502a
Jun 30, 2007
706
1
Reno, Nevada
I'm pretty sure you'll have two Apple Stores.

The Apple Store and the Apple Interactive Store.

Go ahead, pick your poison.

Just be sure to pick up extra firewire.
 
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nostaws

macrumors 6502
Jan 14, 2006
456
217
meh...

I am glad they are innovating, but seems kind of lame at this point (IMO).
 
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Flowbee

macrumors 68030
Dec 27, 2002
2,944
0
Alameda, CA
It's odd coming from Apple, since they've all but rejected the "social" internet so far. Something tells me Steve's not a fan of online communities. If Apple were to implement this idea as it appears here, it would be a big shift for them.

Personally, I think it sounds stupid on paper, but leave it to Apple to make something like this actually work.
 
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Spanners

macrumors member
Feb 21, 2006
90
0
Tunbridge Wells, UK
Books: Woo hoo!

I see books up there, Apple better start soon with there eBook service and device. :apple:

Oh yes you spotted that too. Come now, can someone please explain why we don't have a single device to rival the Kindle? I mean please iTunes is the perfect delivery mechanism. Imagine downloading books / newspapers directly to your Touch or Phone/ (other yet to be announced incredibly thin book type thingy)

As a commuter, I for one would be first in line to buy!

When Steve spoke about his pillars (Mac/Music/Movies) All he needs to add is Books and we are good to go.
 
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bbbensen

macrumors 6502
Feb 24, 2008
387
0
You must attain 6502 status by making 500 purchases (Apple products only) before you will be awarded with an avatar.

Further, in keeping with Apple tradition, Steve has deemed that Apple will decide what avatar you want for you. ;)

*sigh*

I guess I will be buying a lot of iPod Shuffles!

Unless....

If I buy something and then return it, will I get the purchase!

EDIT: (not realy, but something I noticed before I clicked the reply button...) Even buying 500 iPod Shuffles will come out to $25,000.........
 
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nitschi

macrumors member
Jan 17, 2008
64
153
Vienna, Austria
"and by clicking on one of the other visitor icons, customers could even ask questions to users about why they'd left one product or gone to another product."
Haha, this could be fun!!

<Customer> (to a group of other shop-visitors): "Hey you! may I ask you why not anybody of you buys Macbook Pros these days? They are great and I want to get one!"
<Group>: "OMFG!! NOES!! Don't buy, doooon't!! There are new MBPs coming out anytime, we're waiting for them! Look at macrumors.com for gods sake. DONT BUY!11"
<Apple shop security>: "Sir... may I ask all of you to quietly leave this shop please...?!"
*** JohnDoe has been kicked by Apple shop security ***
*** macrumoaahs has been kicked by Apple shop security ***
*** waitingforMBPupdate has been kicked by Apple shop security ***

This will be GREAT! :D
 
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