Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Write Reviews On Products Using Barcode And Mobile Phone

Orange County Register has a story titled Cell-phone Secrets that discusses an indirect Physical World Connection application. Mobile phone users can enter a product's barcode to get reviews of a product.

You're walking through the grocery store, Web-enabled cell phone in hand. You wonder, is that gallon of organic milk really environmentally friendly? Mobile barcode

Your cell phone can help answer that question, with information from GreenScanner.net.

If you point your mobile browser to that site and type in the product code for Horizon Organic 1% Milk (UPC Code 742365264108), you'll tap into a database of environmentally focused consumer comments. For Horizon 1% milk, the overall rating is fairly good – 3.57 out of 5 – based on comments such as "better for people and cows too – fewer pesticides, etc." and "Locally-grown food is the best way to go."

The system still has many shortcomings, starting with its cumbersome requirement for entering UPC codes. In the future, consumers may be able to access GreenScanner data by taking a cell-phone photo of a product's bar code.

The beauty of this application is that it lets consumers provide the input on products. I guess it could be called a Barcode Wikipedia.

I can think of lots of applications that could be introduced using the UPC database:

For consumer goods a "Consumer Reports" application could be introduced.

For fun I added comments to Coke's new Enviga Green Tea.

Have a comment on a product? Post a comment at Green Scanner and let PP readers know.

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