Siri to be Used for Online Shopping

While Siri may have limited functionality in its current beta state, it appears that Apple is planning to use it in order to capitalise on the online shopping industry in the near future.  According to Will Shanklin of Geek.com, a patent filed by Apple just over a year ago reveals a system for buying items online while using only your voice.

Shanklin writes, “The patent, called “Intelligent Automated Assistant,” is more of a patent for Siri than for any isolated features of Siri. It’s a lengthy and detailed breakdown of the technical side of the voice assistant, including GUI, syntax comprehension, filtering of results, and long-term memory…The patent also notes that Siri could be used for online purchases of items such as books, DVDs, music and the like.”

This would undoubtedly yield Apple massive power within the online shopping sector because, as Geek.com  notes, the description above means that Siri wouldn’t be limited to digital purchases from Apple.  And of course if any company selling online wants in with Siri, they’d surely have play ball with Apple.

If shopping online with Siri does eventuate, Shanklin believes it could play out like this:

“Perhaps Apple will start by letting you buy songs from iTunes, books from iBooks and apps from the App Store. But then, after customers have gotten used to that, it could expand to include retail stores like Best Buy, Amazon, or (of course) the Apple Store. Siri could potentially have a filtering feature, where it will automatically order an item from the outlet with the lowest price or fastest shipping.

“It would also potentially let Apple suggest items from its own stores over those of rivals. For example, if you asked for a Magsafe charger for your MacBook Air, it would dissuade you from buying a cheaper third-party unit from Amazon, and take you to the Apple Store for a new OEM accessory.”

How do you think shopping with Siri would change the face of online retail, in particular mobile commerce?

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