Buying local will beat online
Cognitive systems will make local buying smarter than online
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We're spoiled by websites that not only have what we want, and even suggest other stuff we didn't realize we wanted (but now have to buy). We even "showroom" at brick-and-mortar retailers because there must be a better deal online.
IBM Research is working with several businesses to use cognitive computing to merge the immediacy of physical shopping with the intelligence of online shopping.
Smarter in-store shopping
Watson’s app development platform is already moving into this physical-virtual space. The startup, Fluid, has layered Watson on top of its Expert Personal Shopper app for retail brands. So by next year, Watson will be your personal shopping assistant. Store associates will also have similar intelligent tech providing them instant product information, customer loyalty data, sales histories, user reviews, blogs and magazines, so that when you do need to talk with another human, they know exactly how to help.
IBM Research is exploring prototype software called the Virtual Stylist that uses data to help retailers more precisely predict clothing a customer will like, based on what complements the existing contents of their closet and their preferences. While many e-tailers today offer personalized recommendations, most are made by looking at the item you purchased, and what other people who purchased that item also bought – and then recommending to you those other products.
Rather than basing your recommendations on what others buy, the Virtual Stylist would let retailers look at items you recently purchased or showed interest in and tailor recommendations based on your unique taste and styles that will complement your existing wardrobe. And best of all, you can take your purchase home that day. No over-night delivery needed.
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Meet the researcher
IBM Research Lead for Retail
IBM Research - Haifa
Read more about our other 2013 "IBM 5 in 5" predictions:
The classroom will learn you
The classroom of the future will learn about each student over the course of their education, helping students master the skills critical to meeting their goals. A system fueled by sophisticated analytics over the cloud will help teachers predict students who are most at risk, their roadblocks, and then suggest measures to help students overcome their challenges.
Doctors will routinely use your DNA to keep you well
Computers will help doctors understand how a tumor affects a patient down to their DNA, and present a collective set of medications shown to best attack the cancer, while reducing the time it takes to find the right treatment for a patient from weeks and months to days and minutes.
A digital guardian will protect you online
Security is going to become more agile and contextual based on a 360 degree of an individual's data, devices and applications. A digital guardian will have your back, trained to focus on the people and items it is entrusted with, so it can make inferences about what's normal or reasonable activity and what's not, ready to spot deviations that could be precursors to an attack and a stolen identity.
The city will help you live in it
Smarter cities will become sentient cities, understanding in real time how billions of events occur as computers learn to understand what people need, what they like, what they do, and how they move from place to place. Mobile devices and social engagement will enable citizens to strike up a relationship with their city leaders so their voices will be heard not only on election day, but every day.