Cable's impulse technology is a sophisticated, computer-controlled system that has established itself as a consumer-friendly ordering technique. Automated data collection from subscribers requires hardware installed in the home and a refined software package for the addressable controller. Many of the refinements in impulse technologies have been made to provide application flexibility.
While pay-per-view programming has been the driving force behind impulse technology, its application to home shopping is being explored today.
A traffic model comparing home shopping to pay-per-view will explain why the existing store-and-forward technology is capable of handling home shopping order entry. Examining the traffic under peak loading and penetratrion criteria identifies the configuration parameters for addressable computer equipment required to support impulse shopping.
Full addressable control of the subscriber impulse equipment provides the required security. Also, a subscriber code can be used to identify an authorized purchaser. Downloaded activation, credit limits and disconnect commands provide simple purchase authorization/deauthorization.
Finally, as in pay-per-view, impulse home shopping can be phased into a system. The impulse technology can be used in conjunction with phone ordering.
The real beauty is that today's impulse technology can be used for home shopping and pay-per-view, while its flexibility lends itself to other future applications.