Instrumented Interconnecteds Intelligent
June, 19th 2015

Lisa Seacat DeLuca, IBM Master Inventor for Mobile, reads her newly published childrens’ book, A Robot Story, to her twin sons.

Lisa Seacat DeLuca, Omni-Channel technical strategist for IBM Commerce, and IBM Master Inventor

By Lisa Seacat Deluca

We’re bombarded by deals every day. Get an extra 10 percent off (if you use a coupon). Get your tenth cup of coffee for free (if you use a rewards card). What if the “deal” was something you didn’t have to remember to bring with you, or something you didn’t even have to remember you previously received?

What if it was pushed to your mobile device based on a store you were nearby, or a particular section of the store you were shopping in? What if the “deal” was personalized for you based on your shopping habits?

That’s the idea behind what I’m building into IBM Presence Insights. Think of Presence Insights as a smart service that can interpret the large amounts of data it receives from Internet of Things devices such as in-store sensors that can connect to your mobile device. It acts almost like an indoor GPS, recognizing shopper patterns, or their movements in a store or venue, and events, like how long they spend in a particular section of the store, to better understand real-time shopping habits.

Presence Insights appAll the events that these sensors capture gets combined on the cloud, along with a touch of information that the retailer already knows about you, and the result is a powerful platform to give you useful offers when you might actually use them. And yes, I do have three Estimote beacons in different rooms of my house to test this indoor location tech.

I have two-and-a-half year old twin boys, so I shop for baby wipes all the time. I’d love it if the stores where my husband and I shop used a mobile location-based service like this. The stores could look up our purchase history for baby wipes and when either of us is walking near a section of a store that has wipes, and we are likely running low, they could offer a discount to us on the spot – no extra cards or paper coupons or (gasp!) my husband and I needing to remind each other to pick more up.

And because the service will know where I am, it will also know what else is near me in the store, what else I buy at that store – and how often. So, it could remind me that I might also need more diapers. And when I check out, the integrated point-of-sale system will also be able to push an offer based on what’s in my cart before I pay.

What I’m building on top of Presence Insights has mobile and analytics services to create this experience, and is available to play with today. A retailer would first use IBM’s cloud platform Bluemix to spin up, and customize, their own version of Presence Insights. Then, they’ll need sensors, like the Bluetooth beacons I’m testing. These sensors connect to the retailer’s mobile application installed on a customer’s mobile device. They send proximity events to the retailer’s Presence Insights instance. Presence Insights then analyzes the event and the store’s layout, determining if the shopper entered a new part of the store, exited a department, or spent a lot of time in a particular location.

Presence Insights map

Going back to my example of baby wipes, this is the part of the equation that deciphers my location, and makes a decision that, since it knows my shopping history and the fact that I’ve been checking out different brands of baby wipes for more than 10 minutes, I should get a coupon notification. Or, maybe an offer of more information, like additional product details or customer reviews. It also knows that the last time I bought baby wipes was online. Then I might get an offer to just send the box of wipes to my house so I don’t have to lug it to my car, as I likely also have two toddlers in tow.

The future of shopping won’t be dictated by cards, coupons, or some other “catch” to get a deal. Whether you forgot to bring your coupons to the grocery store, or you just want that free cup of coffee (without a card), or in my case, a good discount on baby wipes, the experience will be personal, wherever you are.

For more on IBM Presence Insights, check out Empowering transformative customer experiences.

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July 13, 2016
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I do have three Estimote beacons in different rooms of my house to test this indoor location tech. rasoirs electriques remington

Posted by: celen
June 14, 2016
3:27 am

Thanks for sharing.

Posted by: Alice Ngigi
June 14, 2016
3:27 am

Easy way to do shopping.

Posted by: Alice Ngigi
June 14, 2016
3:26 am

Great ideas.

Posted by: Alice Ngigi
June 10, 2016
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May 11, 2016
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I would like know more about it. I have online shop.

Posted by: Janis Priekulis
April 29, 2016
4:36 am

Thanks Lisa, great idea.

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November 7, 2015
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November 5, 2015
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November 4, 2015
4:42 am

interesting image

Posted by: درب ضد سرقت
July 12, 2015
5:57 am

hi Lisa
thanks for this tips

Posted by: تور دبی
June 29, 2015
2:05 pm

I get the “information overload” concerns, so this needs to be enabled less intrusively. The problem today is that I may have a decision spinning in my head around a purchase yet the store doesn’t know this…so, this system can identify that I am in the store and looking at the product, and if I wander away (or maybe make a unsolicited request to the store thru the appl), I get a better proposition from the store instantly. A win-win.

Posted by: Brendan Coffey
June 26, 2015
6:36 am

I can absolutely see why retailers would want this sort of technology and to have their customers using it.
But has anyone given any thought to how we make this useable for customers once all retailers are using systems like this?
Pretty soon it won’t be possible to walk down a high street or through a shopping mall without your mobile device being completely swamped by all of these ‘personalised offers’ being thrown at it by every retailer or coffee shop you’ve ever had dealings with in the past.

Posted by: Graham Faquhar
June 26, 2015
6:08 am

It would seem some, perhaps many, value their privacy and their time at a few percent discount on shopping items.

Personally I’d rather be left alone and pay normal price with occasional get lucky sale items I stumble over in store, than to be tracked and annoyed like some mad C-3P0 over my shoulder.

Posted by: Shaun W
June 25, 2015
11:36 am

This is nothing new. There are several companies that already provide this service. Most stores already do this to track their shoppers, over their Wi-Fi (which they have full control over). I did a smaller version of this as a university ptoject 3-4 years ago. Regards. I hope you don’t own the patent to this one too.

Posted by: zac
June 25, 2015
5:08 am

Well, having no paper coupons is a good idea. You’ll always don’t have them with you when you need them, right?

Albeit the idea getting a coupon on baby wipes because you may need them based on you buying history? Mh. Why would I offer you 10% off when I know you are buying them regularly anyway? Since the systems knows your buying history, wouldn’t it offer you something with some percent off that you normally don’t buy? Based on your history analytics would determine the age of your kids and offer you for example some toys or cloths coupons that could fit. And based on your reaction (you are or are not walking to the toys and/or cloths corner) the system would offer you something different next time, or give you a similar offer in case you choosed to use the coupon.

But also -maybe- you would get a 5% on your whipes … when you by a toy or cloth which has 10% off … it’s all about making you happy AND to get your money.

So yes, it’s a great seller I guess.


Posted by: Heinz Peter Hippenstiel
June 24, 2015
5:45 pm

Seems to me like this type of app would become another 3 year old tagging along, always asking “can we buy this?” Personally I’d much prefer remaining in control and creating a list before going to the store and having that list trigger a notice of what the best buy would be for that item rather than being analyzed for what I might want and continuously pestered by an analytic process for which I can’t actively define the parameters.

I applaud the ingenuity, but I’d never download the app.

Posted by: Steve Cichosz
June 24, 2015
11:31 am

All of this sounds exiting. . . as there are a lot of other things that could be implemented. Like, quick buyers-choice advise, according to different ratings customers give to different brands of whatever you’re buying. It opens a lot of opportunities even for marketing.

Posted by: Diego Cortes
June 24, 2015
9:16 am

Convenience vs. Privacy seems to be a concern of mine. I’m all for discounts, coupons and the like but there also comes a time when I just want to be left alone. I’m hoping there would be an option to turn all of this off if you want to; at least the ability to lessen the ‘noise’ if you so choose. Thanks.

Posted by: Jaime Hermann
June 24, 2015
7:14 am

That’s a brilliant idea. Shoppers always want what is good for them.

Posted by: omondisewez
June 24, 2015
7:10 am

Thank you for the innovative idea! It will take customer shopping experience to a whole new level.

Posted by: Frank
June 24, 2015
2:46 am

Thanks Lisa, great idea.

Posted by: Manish
June 23, 2015
5:02 pm

Awesome Lisa!

Posted by: Al Sanchez
June 23, 2015
9:30 am

We have an economy based on selling things to people that they don’t need, paying with money they don’t have and exhausting the limited resources of our only planet as quickly as we can. Anything that perpetuates this foolishness cannot be good.

Posted by: Russ
June 23, 2015
9:19 am

Smart Shoppers? Smart Shop?

Since 2006 we got smart phone identification, for example, 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, if you got a Chinese mobile, you where received with a welcome message each time you arrive to the stadium or Olympics facilities.

Now a days, some of us use Foursquare or Swarm apps, and when you are near a place it popup a message in your mobile and if there is any offer, you can see it. That is our next step in “building the personalized marketing”.

The new era with NRF communication, let us to send “special offers to consumers”, but, the real Smart-Shop Smart shopper interaction, will be when data from all social network from a person is analyzed real time to create “personal offerings and discounts based on the persons day life”.

We are arriving the “cognitive digital era”, now a days, as some people is saying, our biggest risk is, that we are loosing humanity with technology adoption, but, we need to be able to recognize that every thing in the universe is attached to a cycle, and now we are entering in the biggest point of technology development, and then velocity of technological achievements will slow down, and try to achieve balance with the human-machine-technology interaction.

I hope you all have a nice day.

Posted by: Rafael Lu
June 23, 2015
2:35 am

If you are obsessed with shopping and/or a maniac about discounts, I’m pretty sure this app could be important.
To me, this is too much “big brother watching” – simply virtualized coupons and cards in the cloud.
I’d rather miss a discount or two and have a life beyond that of constant surveillance – coupons and cards at least are anonymous.
And if I miss a special deal or two – so be it! I’m sure my life would go on without.

Posted by: Kresten Lundegaard
June 22, 2015
11:18 pm

Hey ,
I have worked on a similar concept for an year. Location based smart shopping through your mobile using beacons(specializing in ultrasounds). I would like to know more about your approach and if possible add a hand to your project or discuss the technology for the better world :)
There are a few more applications if we consider.
Anyone who would like to talk can
Drop me a mail at

Posted by: Nishant Nischal
June 22, 2015
4:54 pm

Does anyone ever study the “distraction factor” associated with these new Apps? A store full of shoppers who are paying more attention to their smart devices than to their children, companions or surroundings does not seem like safe or pleasant experience.

Posted by: Sue Hardy
June 22, 2015
1:14 pm

This would be excellent for member-card holders too! I can’t imagine having to bring with me the booklet of coupons for my all my membership cards and/or browsing through them whenever I shop or do my errands. It would be nice to have them all in my mobile device and to be alerted of deals I’m entitled to.

Posted by: Leah Concepcion
June 22, 2015
12:29 pm

This would be a great enhancement on an app I currently use at a major retail store. Their app automatically loads store coupons and discounts into my store “wallet” so I never have to worry about remembering to bring the coupons or misplacing them. They also have a scanner so I can scan in any additional coupons and use to do price checks. Sending discounts and/or coupons based on your purchase history would be very helpful.

Posted by: Tina Timmerman
June 22, 2015
12:16 pm

Lisa! You have come so far and done so well with your inventions. We’re all very proud of you!

Posted by: Wayne Delia
June 22, 2015
12:08 pm

i wish i could integrate my coupons into my purchase, into my rewards card. I live in a rural area, so my selection of stores are limited to only a couple of big box stores. If i could integrate all my savers cards/ coupons into one app, it would save me so much time (also while toting 2 toddlers in-tow.)

Posted by: KC
June 22, 2015
11:53 am


I feel one needs to be quite smart about people’s buying history. Currently I am bombarded by emails from Amazon pointing me to products that either I have just bought and don’t want any more of, or have browsed thoroughly and decided I don’t want at all.

Posted by: Martin Evans
June 22, 2015
11:38 am


Great concept, although once you are in the shop I don’t get why it is a good idea for the store to offer you a discount on something you are going to buy anyway. They should offer a discount on some related product you wouldn’t otherwise buy, or offer it before you go there.

Posted by: Martin Evans
June 22, 2015
10:02 am

This is a fantastic idea! With the use of coupons and reward cards, I feel like retail stores and businesses control where and when I shop. Implementing this idea would put consumers back in the driver’s seat.

Posted by: Brenda Bevelacqua
June 22, 2015
8:58 am

Lisa, this is an excellent idea, customer insights play a large part in pointing customers to the correct products and making shopping both easier, relative and more user friendly.

Posted by: Internet-ink
June 22, 2015
8:38 am

Great idea Lisa, I love the idea of no coupons. For the future, can we add in a way to scan in those baby wipes so they can be dropped in a bag and then check out via the app? Reduce the number of touches to shelf, bag, home.

Posted by: Chris Suda
June 22, 2015
2:38 am

Hi Lisa,
Great idea and congrats to you on getting this build in an app. I was discussing something on similar lines with my friend couple of months ago but I was lacking the technical knowledge to convert such an idea to a product. I am really excited to see something concrete has been developed and can’t wait to try the product.

One more feature that you may consider is analyzing the history of coupons/discounts offered that a person hasn’t used. This will help to further tweak the dynamic offerings.

Congrats to you once again.

Vishal Mahajan

Posted by: Vishal Mahajan
June 22, 2015
12:09 am

Awesome Idea !
This would make our lives so much easier…

Posted by: Biswadeep
June 21, 2015
2:24 pm

Lisa, this is an excellent idea that will make our lives easier.
Thank you!


Posted by: Beatriz Gadda
June 21, 2015
9:27 am

Smart shoppers are always good option to think

Posted by: Batman Arkham Knight
June 20, 2015
9:29 am

Really exciting idea,new way to make business for every shop and ind.This is IBM

Posted by: Angelo
June 19, 2015
6:02 pm

Yet another great tool from the NEW IBM! Lets combine all we have, how about connect this with the Watson based research and advice on buying products, so instantly market research and social opinions are available. How about connect this with cognitive ads services, so that such offers can match what a person will want to buy anyway, where the manufacturers and shops can bid to place an ad as well as make attractive offers on products, services, goods that have a high chance to be bought by the individual consumers. Security and social needs be integrated into this as well as IBM’s analytics and of course Cloud. Well done.. this is so exciting to see how IBM transforms and take part in all that is out there! Well done!

Posted by: Dr. Eugen Schenfeld
June 19, 2015
6:00 pm

Lisa – great to see that you are still developing ideas and filing patents! This is an excellent idea and an app that I look forward to.

Posted by: Mari Heiser
June 19, 2015
5:53 pm

Hi Lisa,

This would generate the new way of shopping. It would also reduce the unwanted incoming of messages to your app.

Like, a concept in which what you want can enter to your device.


Posted by: Kamal Sewani
June 19, 2015
2:59 pm

Great ideas Lisa!
I’ve been wondering how to solve the problem of getting to the grocery store and wondering if we’re running low on milk or not. Being able to walk in and having a personal shopper app generate a list of things that you may be out of or running low on (based on commonly purchased items in your history) would be very useful.

Posted by: Dan Lamm
June 19, 2015
1:09 pm

Hi Lisa , great ideas.
You could also use in your new application that you are building, recently docked disclosure for “DETECTION OF MOBILE DEVICE PAIRING PATTERNS USING TRANSACTIONAL PROXIMITY”
It will allow among some another things determine if you are shopping alone or with your partner as extra input.
Disclosure #RSW820140239

Posted by: Dmitri Dodor
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