From the Hindu belief system: personification of a deity on Earth. Originally the terms used for the fictitious identity of a surfer (e.g. chat ID). In recent times, Avatars are used in the e-business sector, e.g. as animated (3D) characters equipped with certain technologies (fuzzy logic, voice recognition, query methods, thesaurus). This enables them to "answer" questions entered by users. They are used as "virtual shop assistants," e.g.