We’ve all been standing in a store, thinking about buying something, and stopped to wonder if a quick Google search couldn’t find a better price online. And maybe not just online, but at other stores in the same mall or part of town you happen to be standing in. That way you won’t have to pay for shipping. Right?
A tech company called Big in Japan has created a smart phone app that does all of that by way of software which can turn your phone into a barcode scanner, simply by using your phone’s auto-focus camera.
Here’s what you’ll need: A smart phone with an auto focus camera, (so a G1, Droid, or an iPhone 3Gs). The Shop Savvy app, which is free… and a barcode. Any barcode. Hold the barcode up in front of your phone’s camera, make sure the red line on the screen gets over the bar code, and wait half a second or so for the beep.
That’s when Shop Savvy pulls up options on how much that product costs online, or, at other local retailers.
(Video found at Tech Crunch)
Say you’re walking through a department store and see a modern, slim cut suit. Looks incredible, but the price is kind of high. Pull out your shop savvy enabled phone, scan the bar code, and find out if Overstock.com is carrying it. And if they are? Bounce on over to your phone’s web browser and make sure they have your size.
The best case scenario is that the department store has a price match guarantee. Or at least a salesman who understands that you’ll buy it off the web if you have to, but you’d rather buy it from him. Show him the Overstock.com price, and see if they’ll give you a deal. Doesn’t hurt to ask…
Is this the holy grail of bargain shopping? It could be. As long as the retailer you’re in hasn’t put up a cell phone / data block, it should work. And it has unlimited potential for upgrades. Because why not have future versions of the Shop Savvy app link up with google maps, local traffic reports, and an mpg calculator (customized to your cars specs of course) so it can tell you if the cost of the gas you’d burn driving across town for the better deal would outweigh your savings at the store you’re standing in?
Don’t think they haven’t already thought of that. I give it a year or less before it’s part of the app.