Online and mobile shopping might be convenient, but it often takes a lot of work. If you’re looking for a specific type of item, you often need to research products (i.e. reading lengthy online reviews) to make an informed buying decision. But what if you could tell your computer or mobile device what you need and it automatically finds it for you? That’s exactly what IBM is hoping its supercomputer Watson can do: become a personal shopping assistant that takes all the hassle out of online and mobile shopping.
Last year, IBM made a commitment for smarter computing that will learn as it works for us. IBM’s Watson is a perfect example of that, and now that the company has also committed to developing Watson for mobile via the cloud, the supercomputer will be well-versed to act as a personal shopper.
IBM is partnering with Fluid, a digital commerce company, to create a one-on-one experience with Watson’s capabilities. For example, let’s say you’re looking for the perfect gift for your significant other. Tell Watson about the likes and dislikes of your loved one and let the computer score through piles of data, and eventually pick out a product (or group of products) with those details in mind. Or let’s say you’re going on a hike in the Himalayas and need the right gear for your trip: once you tell Watson what you need, the computer does the research and picks out all the right equipment for you.
With each purchase decision you make, Watson will get smarter, and every shopping experience becomes that much easier because the computer gets to know you, your needs, your budget and your preferences.
IBM is working on an app for XPS that will work on desktops, tablets and smartphones. It will be able to ask the same sort of questions you’d expect from a salesperson in a physical store, but without the hard-sell techniques and with a lot more personalization.
Via The Street