Jan. 3, 2013
Apple filed a patent application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office that gives insight into how the electronics retailer operates and designs each store location.
The patent filing, named "System and method for planning layout of a retail store," combines a number of interactive features such as dynamic product displays, floor plan blocking and a centralized management system ensuring customers have a consistent experience when visiting any Apple Stores in the world, Apple Insider reported.
The core of the patent filing is a central server that is responsible for providing Apple Stores with floor information, including dimensions and orientation of the floor space, product data, dynamic signage information, organization of fixtures, an interactive map and more, according Apple Insider. The server sends current information to in-store servers which then mete the data out to dynamic product signage.
The excerpt below is directly from the patent filing and describes Apple's focus on dynamic signage:
Some embodiments further provide for coordinated management of multiple dynamic signage devices. For example, a dynamic signage device can be identified by reference to its location, e.g., at a particular position within a particular fixture in a particular store within a chain of stores owned or managed by a corporate entity. A server operated by the corporate entity can associate the location with a product being displayed at that location; based on that association, the server can deliver current information to the dynamic signage device. For instance, price information for the associated product can be updated. Updates to the product information can be coordinated across multiple dynamic signage devices within a store or across multiple stores. In addition, if the product being displayed at the location associated with the dynamic signage device is changed (e.g., due to a product upgrade or rearrangement of product displays within the store), the device can be automatically updated with information for the new product.
Read more about store design and layout.