Photos: DIY Shopper brings sales clerks to you

IBM researchers are hard at work to make your trip to the store a better, and more high-tech, experience.

Just because you can't see a sales clerk doesn't mean you can't get help from one--or from a fellow shopper, even one in a distant aisle.

DIY Shopper, via cell phone
Tim Ferguson/

That's the premise behind the DIY Shopper project under development at IBM's research facility in a stately Georgian manse in southern England. The concept retail Web site, developed with retail group Kingfisher, uses Web 2.0 concepts--not just blogs, but also buddy lists of in-store advisers and people doing similar projects. While store employees would use tablet PCs to access DIY Shopper and communicate with customers, the shoppers themselves would use their cell phones, as in this photo, where a helpful Stacey has arranged via text message to meet a customer in the garden section "in 2 minutes."

Even more helpfully, perhaps, the system could send shoppers money-off vouchers.

DIY Shopper also interacts with Second Life, meaning your avatar could do a lot of the legwork. IBM's Hursley crew, meanwhile, is working to show how ATM banking channels could be used in the virtual world.

To get a closer look at this technology, check out's photo gallery, via "Photos: IBM lifts lid on Web 2.0 tech."

Featured Video
This content is rated TV-MA, and is for viewers 18 years or older. Are you of age?
Sorry, you are not old enough to view this content.

Is 'Chipgate' the new iPhone controversy?

We survived "Bendgate" with the iPhone 6 -- is it "Chipgate" for the iPhone 6S? Plus, you can expect the new iPad Pro and Apple TV by early November.

by Brian Tong