Now you can scan barcodes and the world with your mobile phone

Now you can scan barcodes and the world with your mobile phone

Summary: Barcode scanning via mobile is nothing new, but now you can price shop, and even add items to your book club, all by using your mobile phone's camera.


It seems that these days everyone is into barcode scanning from his/her mobile phone. To be fair, barcode scanning from a mobile is nothing new, but it became even more popular with the release of ShopSavvy and then the subsequent release of RedLaser.

The latest entry into the barcode scanning camp is Amazon. In this case, though, instead of returning results from a bunch of brick-and-mortar and online companies, the Amazon version just returns Amazon-based merchants.

I have to admit that being a Prime member, I do a lot of shopping through Amazon. With the ability to now scan items directly with the app, I think I'm going to have to put a hold on my credit cards. Seriously though, last time I went shopping I needed some printer paper. I scanned just about every box I could find, using RedLaser, and after finding it on Amazon, Staples, and a bunch of other places, it made more sense to purchase it at the store I was scanning the item at. The whole experience definitely showed me how much power I held in my hands, though.

So, where do we go after we're done scanning barcodes? How about scanning in business cards. That's what the folks behind CardMunch want you to do. Or maybe you want to just scan whatever you see, using Google's recently updated Google Mobile App, which now includes Google Goggles.

I think the future will have us scanning just about anything. We'll start with barcodes, find the best price, or maybe just add a book to our collection or wishlist, using apps like BookLover. I know that I would love to go to my basement, scan in everything and then sort through and make a donation list, inventory list, yardsale list, and just about any other list you can think of.

It's nice to see technology really working to make our lives easier. With the ability to scan and augmented reality, there's no telling what information will be at our fingertips next.

Topics: Amazon, Hardware, Mobility, Telcos

Joel Evans

About Joel Evans

With more than 15 years of mobile, Internet and wireless experience, Joel specializes in taking existing brands and technologies into the mobile and wireless space. Joel is currently the VP of Strategy Integration for Mobiquity, an enterprise-class mobile solutions provider.

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  • Data Mining

    There is a trade off on the whole scanning technology. Do not think for a second that these applications are not retaining all of this valuable data and archiving it somewhere. So, it now becomes a trade off, what do you need versus what you are will to give.
    • RE: Now you can scan barcodes and the world with your mobile phone

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  • To Clarify...

    You can do this if you have an iPhone; as far as I know, that's the only OS they've released an app for. Which means that something like 60%-70% of cell phone users can't do it.
    • RE: Now you can scan barcodes and the world with your mobile phone


      That is not true. While the iPhone has an app for this, Windows Mobile and Android have had apps for this for some time "ain't" new
      • How?

        @jfarhat Can you point me to a Windows Mobile app that does this? I'm definitely interested.
      • RE: Now you can scan barcodes and the world with your mobile phone

        @johnfarhat@... its true jhon.

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    • RE: Now you can scan barcodes and the world with your mobile phone


      All major smartphones and OS can do this now. I started putting QR Codes on my business cards some time back. The front QR Code is my vCard data (contact info) and the back 3 are profiles at Twitter, Linkedin, and Facebook. Scanning the front allows you to save my data as a contact in your phone. Sort of like infrared transfers used to do with Palm phones long ago. Scanning the the back 3 takes you to my profile page on the respective social site.