The Traveling Mobile Shopping Avatar

We are currently developing a mobile shopping avatar in the project SOLOMON. It is a truly mobile shopping avatar: it can move from one device, medium respectively, to another.

How does this work?

At it’s core, the shopping avatar is a piece of Javascript software that represents your personal mobile assistant and is available in an App on your mobile device. In the mobile App, it runs in a so called Javascript runtime environment. The runtime environment provides the means to run the Javascript Code and execute functions of your shopping avatar. For example, it is possible for the App – as hosting environment of the shopping avatar – to share your favorite book genres with your shopping avatar. We demonstrated this in the demonstrator that we presented during the EUREKA innovation days in Helsinki.

Physical Representation

One possibility to represent the shopping avatar is as QR barcode. In this case, the shopping avatar is a truly physical one: it is possible to simply print the QR Code (for example on a membership card) and thus turn your shopping avatar into a actual physical item. This anchors the avatar in the physical world.

From Physical to Digital

Now, how does the shopping avatar actually travel from one medium to the other? In the case of QR codes it is the scanning of the barcode that lets the avatar jump from one medium to the other. This process is a bit like waking up a program from hibernation: the hibernated avatar resides in the printed QR code and after it’s being scanned, it becomes alive in the App.

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