Google Shopper Finds Goods With Phone's Camera

February 21, 2010

2:16 pm

Google Shopper for Android

Google Shopper for your Android Phone

Google announced this week the launch of its new Android app called Google Shopper. In a blog post Google software engineers Daniel Switkin and Farhan Shamsi said:

Shopper lets you find product information quickly by using your phone’s camera. It can recognize cover art of books, CDs, DVDs, and video games, along with most barcodes. You can also speak the name of the product you’re looking for. Use Shopper to make smart decisions about what to buy, what price to pay, and where to buy it. You can star items for later and share them with friends. Shopper also saves your history so you’ll always have product and price information at your fingertips, even when you don’t have a signal.

I don’t have a android phone yet so I am giving you the Google reasons that’s cool about this app:

  • Scan a barcode and find information on the product
  • Voice search
  • Point your camera phone at the cover art of a book, CD, DVD, or video game.
  • Post to Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, Instant Messaging

My TECH cocktail colleague Frank Gruber just recieved a shiny new Nexus One Android phone at Mobile World Congress and was able to test the application out. Here are his thoughts on those same points:

  • Scans barcodes – Just as slick as scan cover art the bar code reader works great and even makes a “bar code” reading sound like you are at the grocery checkout counter.
  • Voice search – The voice search worked well as long as there were not other sounds around to interfere. I searched for “Cheetos” and it found some on among other sites to purchase them in bulk. 🙂
  • Point your camera at cover art – The image scanning is pretty slick. The application literally reads the cover text. Slick.
  • Post to your Gmail, Facebook, Twitter – The application keeps track of what you search for and places it in a shopping history so you then you can share the items with you friends via Gmail, Twitter, SMS Messaging and Twitter.

I definitely think a shopper app is good on any phone. I have used my network several times to ask for recommendations when I was at a store buying stuff.  In a few instances I have done my research online but the store has a model number that was totally different. QR codes are going to become very popular.

For more details check out the video (above) from the Google product team. Happy shopping!

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Shashi Bellamkonda is the Chief Marketing Officer at Surefire Social. He is also an adjunct professor at Georgetown University. Shashi is passionate about helping startups and small business and has been recognized twice as one of the Top 100 Tech Titans by the Washingtonian and Top 100 Small Business Influencer Champion 2011 by Small Business Trends. Follow him on Twitter @shashib.

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