Feeds

Apple patents shopping lists

Yet another fantastic use for the cloud

Website security in corporate America

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
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
ISPs' post-net-neutrality world is built on 'bribes' says Tim Berners-Lee
Father of the worldwide web is extremely peeved over pay-per-packet-type plans
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp
Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.