Bitterwallet has alerted me to a new app for the iPhone which looks like it could be very useful for the on-the-go deal seeker.
The RedLaser app has a built-in barcode scanner which automatically detects a barcode as you swipe the camera past it (you’ll have to provide your own supermarket-esque beep sound), and then it will show you an instant price comparison via Google Product Search and on Amazon.
My first test was to scan the code from a pack of Tesco soft wipes, and the closest match it came up with was for a 3-inch Snarf Thundercat figure (remember Thundercats?) on Amazon, so it’s not necessarily the most accurate tool yet, but I guess that will come as more barcode data gets added to its database.
The app will probably prove to be more useful on certain items – if you’re in a shop browsing for DVDs, CDs or books for example, take a swipe of the barcode, realise you’re paying way over the odds buying them on the high street and order them online there and then on your phone at a deep discount.
Here’s a video showing you a previous (US) version in action:
Sadly, the RedLaser app isn’t free, currently costing £1.99 from the app store.
There’s bound to be similar apps coming out for the iPhone soon, which will hopefully be free, and similar software is available on other smartphones, such as ShopSavvy on Android.
We’ll be giving it a proper test whilst out and about over the weekend, so we’ll let you know how it gets on, and hopefully how much it has saved us.
Christmas shopping will probably be the acid test – I’m not sure how useful it will be offering to order things online on Christmas Eve, only to be delivered in the New Year, but if we can get our act together a few weeks before the delivery deadline date then it could prove to be a real money and time saver.
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