Tuesday December 07, 2021

November 24, 2015

Big Data tells shoppers what´s hot for holidays

WASHINGTON: Is the Apple Watch a hot item for the holidays? What are the most popular Lego and Barbie toys?

IBM has put its Watson supercomputer to the task of using Big Data to help shoppers on the hunt for trendy seasonal gifts.

The US computing giant has launched a "Watson Trend" smartphone app that "distills the sentiment of tens of millions of online conversations by scouring 10,000 sources across social media sites, blogs, forums, comments, ratings and reviews."

This aims to give shoppers a real-time ranking of hot products.

"You can browse top overall trends or view the top trends within each category to know the latest and get a sense of zeitgeist, a snapshot of this day in history," IBM said on its website for Watson Trend.

"Watson interprets data daily and can tell you what real people are saying about it in real time. Watson reports on the pure numbers, not its opinion."

IBM said it is "harnessing the collective knowledge of billions of people on the planet to help shoppers easily make more informed decisions."

The new app launched last week is the latest iteration for Watson, which gained fame in 2011 for defeating human opponents on the "Jeopardy" quiz show and is being used in health care, cooking and investment applications, among others.

For the holiday season, IBM predicts that consumers will turn to their mobile devices more than their desktop to seek out the best buys.

Some of the hot items trending Monday included the Apple Watch, Samsung TVs, Sennheiser headphones and the new "Call of Duty" video game.

"Star Wars" Legos topped the toy category and Nike running shoes led the health segment.