I have discovered this iPhone app very late on. At last someone has not only developed a barcode reader that works, but also does something useful. It has been produced by Occipital, who were the people behind ClearCam which significantly improved the built-in camera on the iPhone. So what does it do? It quickly scans a barcode, working with UPC and EAN codes, in 6-8, 12 or 13 digit formats. I have found it is very quick to scan. Once scanned, it tells you what the product is and it takes that information online, and using Googles’s Shopper suggests the cheapest prices it can find. Having used the application I am very impressed at the speed in which this is accomplished when using a wifi link. However, if you are using a 3g link then the retrieval of the best prices is rather slow.
This application recognises many products, but I have noticed it does not seem to recognise ISBN numbers, and hence find me the best price on books. The application is free, and is great fun to use. Is it useful? Well that depends on what you are scanning in order to save you money. If you are in the supermarket then it is of little use to know that the supermarket three miles down the road sells pints of milk which are 2p cheaper. However, if you are looking to buy a household item of significant value, then a quick scan and a list of cheap prices can present you with a bargaining tool to get a discount.