Shopping Goes Geek with Wolfram|Alpha
Just in time for the holidays, we’re introducing a new functionality that provides consumers with a unique approach to shopping. By leveraging data from Best Buy’s public APIs, Wolfram|Alpha users will now be able to browse more than 35,000 appliances and consumer electronics products. Wolfram|Alpha’s intuitive natural-language interface helps you hone in on the precise products you need, while its powerful data visualization capabilities give you an innovative overview of any shopping category.
We’ve taken the strengths we’ve developed in math, science, and socioeconomic data and created something equally unique and useful for online shoppers. Type in the name of a product category—”dishwashers” or “tablet computers, for example—and Wolfram|Alpha generates a comprehensive, custom analysis. What are the typical dimensions and other physical characteristics of other products in this class? How common is a given product feature? Wolfram|Alpha helps you to answer these questions.
Type in a specific product name or model number—say, “Samsung GT-P3113TSYXAR—and Wolfram|Alpha will highlight that product’s rank within the entire product category. From a glance at the plots below, you can see that this tablet falls pretty squarely in the middle of the pack with regard to price and generally on the low-end to average range for a variety of physical and performance attributes.
If you’re curious about a particular property of a product, click “Show details” to get a more focused set of plots, as well as a list of all relevant products, sorted only by that property:
Click a product image or name to generate a custom Wolfram|Alpha analysis for that product or click a price, cart image, or “Buy from Best Buy” link to go directly to that product’s page on the Best Buy website.
Combining our natural-language interface with data from Best Buy’s public APIs also allows users to do more intuitive searches. Renovating your kitchen and need a dishwasher that fits specific dimensions? Enter “dishwashers narrower than 25 inches” into Wolfram|Alpha to get a list of dishwashers that meet your needs. Building a new entertainment center and need to find a narrow Blu-Ray player within a specific budget? Try asking Wolfram|Alpha for the “narrowest Blu-Ray player under $100. For bargain-hunting photographers out there, it is even possible to ask Wolfram|Alpha to find “the lightest digital camera under $100 with a pixel resolution greater than 12MP.
Having trouble choosing between two or more products? You can also type their brand and model numbers into Wolfram|Alpha to generate a direct comparison:
These are just a few of the examples made possible with this new feature in Wolfram|Alpha, and it’s the first step in providing our users with a brand-new approach to online shopping. More products and product categories will become available in the near future.