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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Smartphone Scanning: Beyond Barcodes

I have been following and testing uses of smartphones as sensors. The obvious connection is using the ubiquitous barcodes to identify things in their environments. One alternative way is to use a scanned image of a product itself and matching that to a library of images. We tested that idea with a number of methods in the innovation center. The following article shows its being implemented already:

" Find products by scanning barcodes, cover art with Google Shopper for Android
by Brad Linder
Google has just rolled out a new application for Android called Google Shopper that lets you comparison shop for items by scanning a barcode or cover art of books, music, movies, and other objects with your Android smartphone's camera. You can also use Google's voice search capabilities.

In other words, if you see a book in a store and want to know if you can get it cheaper online, you can grab your phone and point it at the barcode or cover, or while nobody's within earshot, you can speak the title into your phone. Google Shopper will attempt to find the correct book and hook you up with the prices at various web retailers... '.

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