Thursday, May 18, 2006

Scanbuy Offers Shopping Deals With Camera Phone

Scanbuy is doing a great job exposing this disruptive technology to the public.

For now, it still takes a special lens to resolve a 1D code (barcode seen on packaging), but their consistent press exposure will allow them to capture the 2D code (QR codes and Datamatrix) market too. Their software has the ability to read 2D codes too.

From CBS4 Boston Cell phone uses barcode for shopping deals

As Peter Shirley from Independent Mobile explains, "It takes the cameras that are built in on the cell phones and essentially uses them as a scanner."

More specifically, the camera scans the product's barcode. This allows the consumer to get valuable information while still in the store.

See the video

It won't be too long before other barcodes (2D codes) will act as physical world hyperlinks.


streetstylz said...

The current litigation between ScanBuy and NeoMedia should play out very interestingly for both companies. With ScanBuy's frivolous patent infringement lawsuit thrown out last year on grounds of prejudice and without merit, it makes one wonder how the same judge will rule on NeoMedia's counter suit against ScanBuy -- Expected to be determined later this year. A ruling in favor of NeoMedia will prove disasterious for ScanBuy since NeoMedia has thus far one legal battles against Virgin Entertainment, AirClick, and LScan.

The battle for mobile marketing marketshare is truly heating up and will no doubt determine the futures of both companies in the coming months ahead.

Anonymous said...

This CBS review documents limitations in ScanBuy's performance (ie only 1 of every 2 test worked), and references other companies in the space(NeoMedia's Paperclick, Gavitec, and Mobot)- is this finally a network station doing some real DD, as opposed to running the same piece without testing it out? Good stuff: Kudos to CBS 5 for some real DD not regurgitating the same old stuff.'
clock May 18, 2006 10:00 pm US/Pacific
Comparison Shop With Your Camera Phone

Jeanette Pavini

(CBS 5) Imagine having the ability to buy an item while knowing for certain you are getting the best deal. New technology may give consumers the upper hand over retailers by letting them scan prices and check for lower ones right on their mobile phones.

Using the camera in your mobile phone to scan barcodes while you're shopping, the technology connects to the Internet to see if you are getting the best deal. That price could be online or it could be in a store.

"Without any question, this will revolutionize the way that we shop," said Phil Lempert of Consumer Insights. "Retailers are going to hate this technology. There's no question."

CBS 5 asked major retailers to help us test this new technology and they all refused.

So in our own test, we used Scanbuy, free software available online which works on a limited number of mobile phones.

What did we find?

One cordless phone was $34.99 at the store, and when we scanned it, had it for $42.28.

A DVD was $22.99 at the store. Online it was $17.99.

Scanbuy only worked on one out of every two items we tried to scan, causing a lot of frustration.

Other limitations?

Right now, it only compares prices of electronics, books, CDs and DVDs, and only to and

But Scanbuy and other companies tell us there is more advanced technology on the way, which will tell you if a better price is at a nearby store, even giving you directions.

"Just about every cell phone five years from now is going to have these capabilities," Lempert said.

Editor's Note: In addition to Scanbuy, there are several companies that offer scanning technology. See Related Links on the right for a list.

(© MMVI, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)
Related Links

* Scanbuy
* PaperClick
* Gavitec
* Mobot