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Amazon Unleashes Snazzy New iPhone App

Amazon has recently developed a free application to allow iPhone users the ease of shopping directly from their mobile device. Not only can users browse inventory and make purchase directly from the app, but can also use a photo snapped from the handset’s camera to make visual searches.


Launched earlier this week, the Amazon mobile application allows customers to quickly search and compare prices for products as well as having full access to their existing cart, wish lists and order history. The application takes it one step further by introducing an experimental feature dubbed, “Amazon Remembers,” letting you store photos snapped from your iPhone’s camera. The images are then uploaded to the cloud where they are human moderated to find the closest match. So, in essence, you could snap a shot of any item around you, whether it be a light fixture in a hotel, or a hat adorned upon the head of a complete stranger, and someone will try to find you the closest resembling product for sale.

ArsTechnica notes that this application is practical and consumer-friendly at the expense of brick-and-morter retailers. This can potentially drive away sales as consumers may opt to compare prices from over 9,000 retailers on Amazon while walking around a physical store. However, while retailers will see this as a threat to sales, it is not as though this application alone is gunning to take away their business. A user can easily browse the web looking for a better deal, without the use of this application. The Amazon app just makes this process a bit easier.

Comments [4]

4 Comments to “Amazon Unleashes Snazzy New iPhone App”

jojo22 @ December 6th, 2008 at 4:49 pm
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Dave, two questions:

1) How much does this app cost?
2) How big is the database of content that it has to compare items to?

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Dave @ December 6th, 2008 at 5:50 pm
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@jojo22

The Amazon application is free to download. In reference to the database, I believe that you are referring to the ‘Amazon Remembers’ feature. When a photo is snapped from your iPhone and uploaded to Amazon, it gets moderated by humans who will sift through their vast catalog of products to find you the best match.

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dave @ December 6th, 2008 at 6:30 pm
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If Amazon is so high on competition, why did they kill the competing application for presenting Amazon info on the iPhone by denying it access to the Amazon web api’s? The application was supposedly also going to be offered for free…

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Matthew @ December 11th, 2008 at 11:20 am
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There’s no need to wait for strangers at Amazon’s Mechanical Turks to respond to your searches. We have released a free iPhone app, Pricepad, that syncs your Shopping Wishlist, including photos, with the web. You can share your list with anyone directly from the phone by sending an email.

Pricepad is available for US, UK, Canada and can also lookup barcodes.

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