Feeds

Apple patents shopping lists

Yet another fantastic use for the cloud

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

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. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

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
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
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
'Serious flaws in the Vertigan report' says broadband boffin
Report 'fails reality test' , is 'simply wrong' and offers ''convenient' justification for FTTN says Rod Tucker
This flashlight app requires: Your contacts list, identity, access to your camera...
Who us, dodgy? Vast majority of mobile apps fail privacy test
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.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
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?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.