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  • Apple Store + Facebook / Second Life = Apple Store 2.0?

    Yet another recently revealed Apple patent shows the company has been working on a plan to create a more expansive online presence, in this instance by combining online shopping and social networking as a way to get consumers to spend more money. Seeking to combat an online shopping experience that the company characterizes as "sterile and isolating," the patent would bring elements of social networks like Facebook and 3D graphics such as those in Second Life to the e-commerce world.

    Apple originally filed this application, called Enhancing Online Shopping Atmosphere. with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office in September 2006. It appears that the application went through in 2008, indicating that more work may have been done in the intervening period. However, let's take a trip back in time to the year 2006, when gas was $2.20 a gallon, Amazon was shipping everything for free because of plummeting sales, and people were still using MySpace and Second Life. Apple inventor David Koski, whose name is on the patent, presents a new model for online shopping that would halt the then-apparent decline in interest in buying things online.

    "One drawback of online shopping," Koski wrote, "is that the experience can feel sterile and isolating." This cold and emotionless world, he continued, would cause people to "be less likely to have positive feelings about the online shopping experience," and as a result, they'd be "less inclined to engage in the online equivalent of window shopping." And therefore (here's the kicker), online shoppers "spend less money than their counterparts who shop in physical stores." Apple's idea for how to bring a little more fun to the shopping experience involves the use of Second Life-style avatars, and the creation of a whole separate level of interaction between shoppers.

    For example, you could communicate directly with other shoppers to chat or ask questions, and make yourself available to answer questions about certain types of products. see how many other avatars were hovering near a particular product you are interested in on the online store, and get statistics like how people viewed that item on the same day you did, and be able to see nationwide and global buying data for the item, breaking it down by states or countries to give you an impression of its popularity. The application also outlines some ways that retailers could use the site for special promotions, like one where a shopper is able to "follow the footsteps" of other shoppers, following the user around the store in order to get a special deal or win a prize.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple Store + Facebook / Second Life = Apple Store 2.0? started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 8 Comments
    1. Messington's Avatar
      Messington -
    1. extremzocker's Avatar
      extremzocker -
      well, Apple patents alot of stuff they dont usually use... they do just to have it
    1. Jgamble317's Avatar
      Jgamble317 -
      I Believe that this is a great method to bringing a more "warming" experience to online shopping. I find alot of my clients dont like to shop online because it seems "sketchy", they'd rather go to a store and read the box or ask an employee about an item or product. Some sites have things like " People who bought this product also bought.." which is a start, but a more live and interactive feel to it would be a great step to improving online shopping...hope they choose to implement it, especially on the good ol App store...
    1. Fodd1337's Avatar
      Fodd1337 -
      This actually looks like fun! It would be like shopping in a digital Apple Retail Store (well, I guess it kinda is but you know what I mean...). I can't wait to see if they decide to use this
    1. whereswaldo's Avatar
      whereswaldo -
      i still dont quite understand what this is
    1. Fodd1337's Avatar
      Fodd1337 -
      It's an idea to remake http://www.apple.com/
    1. rhekt's Avatar
      rhekt -
      no news is good news
    1. UiK's Avatar
      UiK -
      They just wanna take over the world