Resta la domanda: ma a che serve ad Apple un negozio su SL ?
On April 17, 2008, the US Patent & Trademark Office published Apple’s patent application titled Enhancing Online Shopping Atmosphere . Apple’s patent generally relates to improving the experiences that online-shoppers may have at an online Apple Store, sometime in the future. While Apple points to the obvious advantages of shopping online, such as being continuously open for business 24/7, allowing consumers to quickly use search functions to find multiple items and of course the best of all, never having to leave the house to shop. However, Apple acknowledges that they have a long way to go before delivering a more interactive experience that could match that found in the real world. Apple’s patent points out that “one drawback of online shopping is that the experience can feel sterile and isolating. Customers in such an environment may be less likely to have positive feelings about the online shopping experience, may be less inclined to engage in the online equivalent of window shopping (e.g., will not linger in front of a display), and may ultimately spend less money than their counterparts who shop in physical stores.”
So what does any of this have to do with Apple? Simply put, one of Apple’s latest patents presents us with a number of clues that indeed indicate that they’re creating some kind of a virtual world environment in their labs at this very moment. Note here in their patent FIG. 9 where they’re clearly presenting the notion of it being “sunny.” Although that may sound strange, Apple’s patent goes on to clarify that by stating that “environmental/atmospheric indicators are also included. Alice is visiting the Acme website at noon. Accordingly, a sun (904) is included in region 112. If Alice were to return later in the day, a moon or star icon might be shown instead of sun 904. Other indicators, such as different color schemes during the fall season or winter holidays can also be included.” Hmm, that would clearly indicate that there’s a store front involved here in order for a user to know that it’s a sunny day in the fall in this virtual world. Something a little outside of the box I’d say and definitely far beyond anything known by any of us shopping at the Apple Store today.