From Fortune magazine 25 Breakout companies 2005 .
Bargain hunters have a new ally: the cellphone. Soon it will be easy to walk into a store, point your camera phone at the bar code on a product, and within seconds find the same item online for a comparable or better price.
Consumer bar-code technology, already common in Japan, is about to hit the U.S., says Olivier Attia. His 13-person company, Scanbuy , offers what he calls scancommerce software, which links any bar code to the Internet via camera phones.
(The square code—above left—is designed to be especially phone-friendly.) The Nokia Series 60 and other phones can read the codes; they connect users to Amazon or PriceGrabber websites.
I think GPS will play a e huge role in this ability. I explain how here .
Before rushing to the mall, customers must download ScanZoom, Scanbuy's free software, to their cells.
I just don't see people downloading software to the phones yet. In order for mass adoption, in my opinion, the application has to be on the phone already, or an incentive has to be so great for people to take the time to download.
I also don't see price comparison being that big with your cell phone. Will you compare prices on cereal, books, DVD's, TV's, cars? As the price of the item goes up, the more time I will take in making my purchase. So there's an inverse relationship between price and the impulse to buy.
Scanbuy makes money by selling decoding technology to handset makers and by taking a cut from online retailers when goods are purchased via ScanZoom. Attia says he'll know he's arrived when "the sign outside the store reads no pets, no food, and no bar-code scanning." — Julie Schlosser
If you want to create a killer app from barcodes, allow the phone to scan a barcode and retrieve information about the product, not just a Froogle like application.
I did an interview with Scanbuy here .
The 25 List .