Feeds

Apple patents shopping lists

Yet another fantastic use for the cloud

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Apple has been granted a patent on organising shopping lists, but not on shopping itself despite appearances.

At a glance the design does look like it covers lists of desired products, gathered by either scanning barcodes with a phone camera, waving a mobe over wireless NFC tags or typing in product descriptions. However, even Apple wouldn't try to pull a stunt like that and the patent actually covers what's done with the list once it has been assembled.

Apple's, er, innovation involves sending a shopping list to a server that works out the best place to buy the listed goods, based on price, location and user preference, then sorts the list into sub-lists organised by retailer - and could even suggest the most efficient route between the shops.

Fig 4 from patent document

The blueprints, which was filed back in 2008, could prove useful. It would need considerable resources to gather the information on retailers, and that, combined with the lack of any obvious way to make money out of such a product, may present insurmountable barriers, but that doesn't make the patent invalid.

But with shopping for essentials moving online, the retail, er, experience is increasingly about browsing the shelves and trying things one didn't know one wanted, an experience even Apple's iPhone can't quite replicate. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE packet loss balls-up
Turning it off and on again fixes glitch 12 HOURS LATER
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.