Apple Invents a 'Guided Consumer Experience' to make purchasing Macs, iPhones & TVs online more Personable
On Thursday Patently Apple posted a patently application report titled "Apple Patent envisions a completely new Virtual Store Experience with Avatar Salespeople that can make Presentations about Products & more." Thursday's patent related to advancing the experience of buying devices and software on their next-gen online Apple Store with avatar salespeople who can make presentations and more. The patent was the first of two. Thursday's patent application 20210004137 was titled "Guided Retail Experience."
Today (Saturday Jan. 9th), the US Patent & Trademark Office finally got around to publishing patents that they failed to make public on January 7th. The one patent worth noting is really part two of Apple's new virtual retail experience, this time titled "Guided Consumer Experience." Close but different.
Today, a user could go to Apple's website, look up a product, read about its features and then hit the "Buy" button to make a purchase without interaction with another human. That may work with savvy Apple fans but it's not the best experience for possible switchers, average consumers, retired people, some business people and so forth.
Apple wants to elevate the online experience of their store by applying techniques to enhance the consumer experience, including online retail and customer support experiences that you'd get at their Genius Bar.
Online shopping can lack the instantaneous feedback, answers to questions, suggestions, 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. The techniques described in Apple's patent 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.
Much of this was covered in Thursday's patent report. Where the two patents differ is in their patent figures that walk you through some of the new experience that they're working on.
Below are a series of new patent figures covering this subject matter in Apple's part two patent revealed today.
In the first round of patent figures presented below Apple illustrates a series of user interfaces related to a future guided online consumer experience. In patent FIG. 2A for instance, the user interface includes an option to have a communication session with a salesperson. In response to receiving a user input, a communication session with a salesperson is provided.
For some reason Apple's engineers decided to add a section in the future online Apple Store interface to include a segment for TVs. Is that a built-in hint for future Apple TVs?
In patent FIG. 2E above you could see the UI providing users with the option to explore different products by tapping on the explore bottom (#214) and that signals the specialist to call up other produces on request. In the next patent FIG. 2J we see that the user has requested to look at and review an iPad.
As shown below, patent FIGS. 2K, 2L, 2o and 2Q the specialist can provide the user with an AR button on their display to activate a computer-generated reality mode in which the selected product is displayed in a CGR environment where they can move the iPad around and illustrate it on all side and possibly in all colors.
The specialist could also demo a product like the iPad alone or with a keyboard accessory like the Magic Keyboard and review software options with the user on the iPad and more.
Apple's patent FIGS 2R and 2S we see a transaction of buying an iPad.
Apple's patent application number 20210005022 covering a "Guided Consumer Experience" that was published Saturday by the U.S. Patent Office was filed back in June 2020 based on a provisional patent filed one year earlier (not published). To review the details of the patent, click here. Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.