Eighteen months after introducing an advanced retail store product information display that uses an iPad, Apple has filed a patent application for the back-end software that provides complex administrative features. The combination of Smart Sign hardware and software allow centralized control of price and feature changes, standardized store layouts and time zone-based updates and changes. The patent application was published January 3rd and includes diagrams of the software’s menu flow and structure, and simulated screenshots of the administrative features. Apple rolled out the Smart Signs in May 2011, replacing traditional printed paper information sheets slipped behind acrylic plastic blocks. The iPad-based signs are interactive, customized by product and allow store visitors to summon a Specialist for help by pressing an on-screen button. The Smart Signs were ground-breaking for their appearance and features at the time, and several other retailers have adopted the iPad for product displays. Apple applied to patent the Smart Sign design in the U.S. last November, and obtained a design patent in China in March 2012. Download (pdf) the entire patent application for details.
Patent Application Details Smart Sign Software
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