Conference Paper

The Augmented Dorfladen - Interacting with Real and Virtual Products in Instrumented Shelves

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This work describes a multimodal product information and comparison system designed for a rural corner store (the so called Dorfladen). Such a Dorfladen only provides a limited assortment, which we extend with virtual items on embedded displays, allowing customers to inspect and select unavailable products along their real world shopping activities for later ordering. We present the design and implementation of the system prototype and discuss the main results of a formal user study evaluating the user interface, which combines tangible interaction and natural language dialogues to interact with real and virtual products in one instrumented space.

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... An interesting aspect of shopping is that a people can build decisions based on various sources. For instance, Schmitz et al. (2009) discuss a product information and comparison system, which takes the customer's interaction with a mixture of real and physical products into account. The popularity of services such as movielens ( ...
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The ongoing augmentation of our everyday environment with digital artifacts and electronic sensors enables machines to observe with increasing precision a user's interaction with the environment and contained applications. If these observations are recorded over time, then the resulting collection can become a user's personal "digital memory". Like a blog, such a semi-automatically built resource can be of interest for sharing information between users. With this article, we want to provide some answers to the question of how people exploit other persons' digital memories, and how the resulting sharing behavior can be evaluated. We report about two small-scale user studies, which emphasized different aspects of the exploitation of shared personal memories in the everyday. Our report comprises a short description of a platform for collecting and sharing digital memories used in both scenarios, the study methods, and a discussion of the results. These confirm the utility of the respective sharing approaches and provide an insight to people's expectations concerning the interaction with such a resource.
Agents are the catalysts for commerce on the Web today. For example, comparison-shopping agents mediate the interactions between buyers and sellers in order to yield more efficient markets. However, today's shopping agents are price-dominated, unreflective of the nature of seller/buyer differentiation or the changing course of differentiation over time. This paper aims to tackle this dilemma and advances shopping agents into a stage where both kinds of differentiation are taken into account for enhanced understanding of the realities. We call them next-generation shopping agents. These agents can leverage the interactive power of the Web for more accurate understanding of buyer's preferences. This paper then presents an architecture of the next-generation shopping agents. This architecture is composed of a Product/Merchant Information Collector, a Buyer Behavior Extractor, a User Profile Manager and an Online Learning Personalized-Ranking Module. We have implemented a system following the core of the architecture and collected preliminary evaluation results. The results show this system is quite promising in overcoming the reality challenges of comparison shopping.
Conference Paper
This work describes the design and development process of an interactive ordering system for rural corner stores, extending the limited assortment of a small store with virtual items on touch-sensitive displays embedded into shelves. The interface blends tangible interaction of both real products in a shelf and virtual products iconically represented on nearby screens. The tangible interaction component is complemented by a natural language interface, supporting comparison and inspection of multiple products of the real and virtual world.