The patent's assignee is
News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Employees of the sales and service industry are responsible for taking care of the needs of their customers and clients. In the sales and service industry, sales are increased when sales employees 'know their customer.' Salesmen and saleswomen will oftentimes build their own personal knowledge of facts about their best customers in order to prepare to offer the right product or service at the right time to their customers. Keeping track of customers and clients and their preferences is always a challenge. Customer loyalty programs have been developed by merchants in order to be able to gather relevant sales information on loyalty program members and to provide relevant direct mail or email advertising to program members."
As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent application: "Disclosed herein is an augmented reality system operable to be used by users including, but not limited to, employees of the sales and service industry to better assist customers and clients with their needs. The augmented reality system may take information that a retailer or salesperson might have available on a computer or in some other location and summarize that information to be presented in a context that would be beneficial to a sales or service employee working, for example, at a retail outlet. For example, if there is information about a particular customer it might be displayed with that customer and if there is information about a product, maybe that a customer might be interested in, this information may be juxtaposed above the product on an augmented reality display being viewed by the salesperson or it might be juxtaposed above the customer visible through the augmented reality display.
"By juxtaposing specific information about customers and products, the information becomes more useful from a sales context than generic information displayed out of context. With the described embodiment, for example, the relevant information can be placed next to the things it applies to or at least the context it applies to instead of being placed, uncontextually, in a place where the employee would have to mentally move it over to place the information in the appropriate sales context. Allowing customer information and product information to be overlaid or juxtaposed with the real customer, so that the employees can see things in context with the customer right there in real time and in proper context, may give the employee of the sales or service industry leverage to use the contextually relevant information to stay knowledgeable about their customers and in turn give their customers an enhanced experience.
"To receive the enhanced shopping and service experience offered by the employees using the augmented reality, the customer could opt-in to the loyalty program for the particular store or service. Customers may also become enrolled in a particular company's loyalty program if they have been previously enrolled in another company's loyalty program. Such loyalty information could be shared between companies allowing loyalty customers with one company to automatically become enrolled in another company's loyalty program, enhancing the customer's experiences at multiple locations for different companies. A loyalty customer could also become a member of a particular company's loyalty program by being a member of a social media site such as
"The customer could be noticed by the store's sensors for having an associated social media application on their portable device. The information given to the social media site could then be used to gather information on the customer to enhance the customer's shopping or service experience. Another possible way for a customer to become registered with a particular company's loyalty program is to not only have the loyalty information actively shared between several companies but to have the store go out and gather this information from other sites and other loyalty programs.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS
"Reference is now made to the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings. It is emphasized that various features may not be drawn to scale. In fact, the dimensions of various features may be arbitrarily increased or reduced for clarity of discussion. In addition, it is emphasized that some components be omitted in certain figures for clarity of discussion. Reference is now made to the following descriptions taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:
"FIG. 1 is a block diagram showing how an employee might be able to interact with a consumer using augmented reality and the consumer's loyalty information;
"FIG. 2 is an architectural diagram showing the relationship of the loyalty site to the merchant headquarters, the consumer, and multiple merchants;
"FIG. 3 is an architectural diagram demonstrating the store computer and the elements that could be associated with the store computer;
"FIG. 4 shows an augmented reality display as viewed from an employee highlighting products and consumers within the store;
"FIG. 5 shows an augmented reality display as viewed from an employee showing a non-loyalty consumer and a loyalty consumer;
"FIG. 6 shows an augmented reality display for loyalty/membership card patrons in an airport context;
"FIG. 7 is a flowchart displaying the general practices implemented from the time a consumer registers with a loyalty program to the benefits of being a loyalty member in the store; and
"FIG. 8 is a flowchart displaying how the merchant might use and categorize a consumer's loyalty information to have their store employees better assist the consumer.
"These exemplary figures and embodiments are to provide a written, detailed description of the inventions set forth by any claims that issue from the present application. These exemplary figures and embodiments should not be used to limit any claims that ultimately issue in a patent from the present application."
For additional information on this patent application, see: Asbury, Stephen T. Enhanced Augmented Reality Display for Use by Sales Personnel. Filed
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