Updated October 9th, 2019.
I just learned of an iPhone app called “Snappr.” It’s amazing.
Launch Snappr, then “scan” a barcode by taking a picture of it using your iPhone’s camera. The picture is sent to Snappr’s servers, where the code is actually read. In a few seconds they tell you how much that thing would cost at Amazon.com, Yahoo.com, and a few others. That way, before you buy that big flat-screen TV as a present for your older brother’s 47th birthday this coming July so he can watch college football games while typing his fingers off in an effort to make the world a better place for Mac and iPhone users everywhere, you– Brother Spencer– could check that you were getting a good deal.
I will demonstrate with a box of Rice-a-Roni, recently purchased at my local grocery store. Let’s find out whether I got a good deal.
Here’s the bar code (as seen in the Snappr app after I took the picture)…
And here’s how much it would cost at “Meijer,” wherever that is.
I don’t want 12 boxes but it’s nice to know that it would cost $14.71 for the dozen. I only paid 99 cents for my box so I’m feeling pretty good.
Let’s try something a little different: a CD.
Here’s the bar code (a little blurry)…
And here’s what comes back from Snappr.
Pretty neat. Of course, I already bought it, but suppose I was in the store looking at CDs and was only thinking about buying it. Armed with the price info from Amazon & Yahoo I would know whether I should buy it at the store or not.
Pretty cool stuff.
Snappr says that you have to have a special macro lens on your iPhone to take the bar code pictures properly, but I say you don’t. I took those bar code pictures with my stock iPhone 3G S and everything turned out fine. If you DO want a macro lens, try to find a “Clarifi” case for your iPhone (from Griffin), as it has a little slide-out lens and it does make a difference. You can always try taking a picture of a bar code without the macro lens– it’s a free app, so it costs nothing to try. (The iPhone 3G S’ camera is Apple’s best camera yet, so maybe the Snappr people just need to update their website.)
Copyright 2008-2022 Christian Boyce. All rights reserved.