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Apple patent would bring social networks into shopping

updated 11:55 am EST, Thu December 30, 2010

Echoes of Ping

A newly-published Apple patent application suggests the creation of a Ping-like social network for retail stores, AppleInsider notes. As a foundation, the patent argues that people will often take friends with them on shopping trips, or use phone calls and salespeople for advice. Apple's concept would allow people to communicate with others when shopping without having them immediately present.

The idea centers around having a portable device, namely an iPhone, which would tap into a special kiosk at a store to grab a product list. From there people could share questions and information about goods, getting posts from friends in response. In some cases simplified answer options could be used, such as a "yes/no" toggle or "thumbs up" and "thumbs down" buttons.

Apple suggests that businesses could exploit the service to get feedback. To that extent posts could include a five-star rating system, similar to that used on iTunes. The service in general bears many similarities to Ping, which is focused on encouraging iTunes shopping by showing what music other people like and are actively buying. The patent application in fact predates the network's launch; while just made public, it was originally submitted in January 2009.








by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -1

    Yeah, right....

    First off, some nimrod asking on his 'social network' whether his wife would 'like this'? Who's on his network? Most likely his buddies. If the husband has no idea whether his wife will like it, why in the world would you ask your 'buddies'? "Hey, I need to get my wife a gift. You think she'll like this custom fishing pole and reel?" "Oh, man, that is sweet! How could she NOT like it?"

    Apple suggests that businesses could exploit the service to get feedback.

    Yep, nothing to drive people into a huge uproar over 'privacy' than using their social network data without explicit permission.

    The patent application in fact predates the network's launch; while just made public, it was originally submitted in January 2009.

    Um, could it be that the patent application was for Ping in of itself, and not some new 'concept' that Apple has planned up it's sleeves?

  1. Jeronimo2000

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    *facepalm*

    Only Testy could take a dummy text in a prototype mockup seriously.

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