iPhone RedLaser

RedLaser.JPG
Frequent readers know I like to experiment with iPhone applications as I believe mobile commerce will continue to gain even more acceptance. In past reviews, I've been disappointed with iPhone barcode scanners but always assumed the problem was a lack of resolution on my 3G. Recently I downloaded and tried a new iPhone application called RedLaser that seems to work much, much better even on my 3G.

The RedLaser application is dirt-simple. When the camera activates, just aim the cross-hair at a barcode and when the software is happy, it automatically takes the picture. No need to press a button and wonder if its a good shot. I tried this in two stores (Fry's and Toys-R-Us) under different lighting conditions and it worked each time.

Once the barcode has been scanned, the application does product searches on Amazon and Google to find prices. For example, while in Fry's there was a Buffalo DriveStation (external harddrive) for $86. Is that a good deal? I used RedLaser to find that other online stores were selling it for $100-132 so the $86 price was a bargain. Yes, I could have manually entered the barcode but its so much easier to just snap a picture.

And RedLaser is available to other iPhone application developers as software development kit, so I expect new, innovative uses to follow.

Comments:

You could give pic2shop a try. It is free, reads barcodes from the video stream and looks up prices at online retailers. You can suggest external links for inclusion in the "explore further" section of the results.

Posted by Benoit on October 19, 2009 at 04:01 AM CDT #

I finally got around to trying pic2shop (http://www.pic2shop.com/) and it seems to work quite well. I scanned a couple things in my office without issue. I'll continue to test both applications in real stores.

Posted by David on October 27, 2009 at 07:03 AM CDT #

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David Dorf, Sr Director Technology Strategy for Oracle Retail, shares news and ideas about the retail industry with a focus on innovation and emerging technologies.


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