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An Apple patent (number 2012029677) for location-based signage has appeared at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.
Per the patent, dynamic signage systems are provided for a sales environment. A dynamic signage device (e.g., a tablet computer) is associated with a product, e.g., based on a location of the device and/or the product, and can present information about the product to a customer in an interactive manner. The device can automatically check for updated product information and modify its display based on the updated product information.
Management of multiple dynamic signage devices can be coordinated within and across stores, and an interactive floor-map creation system incorporating dynamic signage devices can facilitate changing the associations between products and dynamic signage devices.
Here's Apple's background on the invention: "Retail customers sometimes find it hard to obtain the information they want about products they are considering for purchase. Often, the signage included in store displays only mentions a few product features, and these may not be the features of most interest to a particular customer. To avoid this, some retailers attempt to cram information onto a sign of limited size, making it hard to read. Others provide product brochures or other printed material that the customer is invited to read or take.
"In addition, retailers do not always keep signage up to date. For example, when a sale commences, the reduced prices may not be posted immediately on all signs, and when a sale ends, the sale-price signs might not be immediately removed, or some of the "sale" signs may be inadvertently left behind. As a result, the customer can be confused as to the actual price of the product. Further, in an era where products are frequently updated, information included in signs and/or printed materials may quickly be out of date."
The inventors are Corey Fugman, Jason Raskin, David Den Boer and Joel Levin.