Shopping Mavens Get High-Tech Reinforcement for Final Push to Christmas, Using Mobile Devices to Find Gifts in Nearby Shops

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The publishers of "Where to Wear," a connoisseur’s directory of merchandise in every “in” store in shopping capitals around the world, released today a high-tech electronic guide for New York City that scans stores in the vicinity and reports which ones have hits on the user’s shopping list.

Desperate times call for desperate measures, and with Christmas just days away, shoppers can now resort to a mobile-tech guide that sniffs out gifts as they walk.

The publishers of "Where to Wear," a connoisseur’s directory of merchandise in every “in” store in shopping capitals around the world, released today a high-tech electronic guide for New York City that scans stores in the vicinity and reports which ones have hits on the user’s shopping list.

“This is the Google of shopping – except you don’t have to do searches, you don’t have to ask for every item over and over and you don’t even have to be thinking about it,” said Jill Fairchild, founder of Where to Wear and daughter of fashion publishing mogul John Fairchild. “It just happens on your handheld. It’s becoming all about accessibility and this is like having a personal shopper at your fingertips.”

The Where to Wear “spot guide” downloads to Palm OS PDAs or smartphones. Using built-in maps and location awareness, a user can choose one or more items from a particular shopping list, and the device will scan through thousands of store listings to show which places have the item, and where they are on the map.

“There's plenty of shopping time, you can even be a hero, if you have the info,” said Jim Brady, self-described compulsive shopper and CEO of Earthcomber, the developer of the GPS-targeting shopping guide, during a hasty demonstration. “Watch this.”

Tapping the map at the intersection of Spring and Crosby just above the Village, more than a dozen miniature shopping bags dotted the screen, marking nearby stores that had “hits” for Brady's list of outerwear, cashmere, retro, wearable art and Western.

Tapping “Western,” four shops appeared, including “Western Spirit,” where Where to Wear's insiders promised, “You don't need to be a Texan to dress like a cowboy,” and inventoried moccasins, hats, boots, buckles and pearl-buttoned shirts on three floors.

The shopping guide is available – instantly - as a download at http://www.Earthcomber.com, where a number of other mobile guides from publishers such as Mobil Travel Guides, Moon and Damron are available. The cost for the Where to Wear shopping guide is $9.95.

Where to Wear will be releasing guides for other American cities in January and cities abroad later in 2006, the publishers said.

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