Mon, 08 Feb 2010 Amazon Mobile for iPhone review
Take pictures of products and Amazon will find them and email you the details
- Manufacturer: Amazon
- Pros: Photo-matching feature works quite well
- Cons: Doesn’t work every time
- Price: Free
- Star rating:
Amazon's iPhone app lets you do exactly what you’d expect: search for products, read user reviews, compare prices, track packages, view and cancel orders, and actually buy stuff.
But it has what Amazon calls an experimental feature that is fun and innovative, in a way that could change the way we shop and use smartphones.
Amazon Remembers allows you to use an iPhone camera – or stored photos on an iPod touch – to create a list of things you want to remember.
The photos you take from the app are stored on both the Amazon Mobile app and Amazon’s website. Amazon Remembers then tries to find a product similar to your photo for sale online, sends you an email alert and posts the result, along with the photo.
We took a picture of a book (the excellent Geek Atlas from O’Reilly). Almost instantly Amazon came back with the link to the book.
We looked for some Mac virtualisation software (it took a few minutes but was also correct), a Bon Iver EP on CD (quick, but showed the vinyl version for no good reason), and, finally, an HP laser printer (took a while to come back with details of a similar HP laser). To be fair, the HP laser had been discontinued so finding a similar product isn’t really a fail.
You can then visit Amazon Remembers on your computer, iPod touch, or iPhone and buy the item in the same way you’d buy an item on your Wish List.
As you’d expect from an experimental feature, Amazon Remembers isn’t always correct. It is fun to use, though – and product recognition is surely going to be a big part of the way we shop in the near future.