Instore web 3.0 scouting

Dec 09, 2008

Scientists at Toshiba's Corporate Research and Development Center, in Japan have developed a system that offers shoppers advice on what to buy based on the product barcode and the current weblog buzz around the gadget. The team describes the system WOM Scouter this month in the International Journal of Metadata, Semantics and Ontologies.

If you've ever been at the mall hoping to choose, the latest mp3 player, camera, high-definition TV, you know how confusing the huge array of choice can be. You only have the sales assistant's word for whether a particular brand or model has a good reputation. Checking each and every model while in the store would be almost impossible, without a lot of mobile web browsing and manually entering model numbers into search engines.

Now, Takahiron Kawamura and colleagues have developed WOM (word-of-mouth) Scouter to allow shoppers to get the latest reviews for a product they are looking to buy simply while they are in store. The process involves taking a photo of the item's barcode with a cell phone camera. The WOM Scouter then looks up the item's meta data via the internet and gathers information from blogs and websites that review the product.

The WOM Scouter than uses natural language processing (NLP) techniques to analyze what blogs it collated are saying about the product and provides a straightforward positive or negative opinion on the product's reputation. Even the most confused shopper can make an informed decision on that basis, knowing that the blogosphere will support their choice.

The Toshiba team has tested WOM Scouter in a consumer electronics store and in a book store and suggest that the system represents a case of semantics used to provide an instant benefit in a mobile computing environment. In essence, WOM Scouter is one of the first web 3.0 applications that utilises the fundamentals of the original web connectivity, the social media aspects of web 2.0, and provides a service based on the meaning, or semantics, of the data it handles.

WOM Scouter could be adapted not only to improve the shopping experience, but to help in choosing a movie to see, a restaurant at which to eat, or potentially whether or not to accept a job offer.

Source: Inderscience Publishers

Explore further: Novel graph method detects cyber-attack patterns in complex computing networks

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Dairy farms asked to consider breeding no-horn cows

57 minutes ago

Food manufacturers and restaurants are taking the dairy industry by the horns on an animal welfare issue that's long bothered activists but is little known to consumers: the painful removal of budding horn ...

DARPA seeks new positioning, navigation, timing solutions

7 hours ago

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), writing about GPS, said: "The military relies heavily on the Global Positioning System (GPS) for positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT), but GPS access is easily blocked by methods such as jamming. In addition, many environments in which our mil ...

Lights out in Australia as Earth Hour kicks off

7 hours ago

The Sydney Harbour Bridge and the sails on the nearby Opera House went dark Saturday, as lights on landmarks around Australia were switched off for the global climate change awareness campaign Earth Hour.

Future US Navy: Robotic sub-hunters, deepsea pods

11 hours ago

The robotic revolution that transformed warfare in the skies will soon extend to the deep sea, with underwater spy "satellites," drone-launching pods on the ocean floor and unmanned ships hunting submarines.

Recommended for you

Cooperative software framework helps tame "too big" data

Mar 23, 2015

Furthering work involving the Graph Engine for Multithreaded Systems, or GEMS, a multilayer software framework for querying graph databases developed at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, scientists from ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.