Vision Smarts releases Free Barcode Scanning Kit for Mobile Web Sites

January 6, 2010 in iOS Development (E)

[] Wavre, Belgium - Vision Smarts today is proud to announce the pic2shop Web Integration Kit, a companion to their free barcode scanning App for iPhone devices. Developed specifically for online retailers, shopping portals and web developers alike, the pic2shop Web Integration Kit offers the ability for their customers to lookup a product by simply scanning a barcode from an iPhone.

UPCs and EANs are the traditional barcodes found on virtually all retail products, from books to cereal boxes. With pic2shop's unique combination of image processing algorithms and machine learning techniques, looking up a product is as easy as aiming the camera at a barcode. Online retailers and price comparison sites can now offer their customers the means to instantly access product information, or buy in their store, all in real time. The whole process takes only a few seconds.

Shopping portals can capitalize on the mobile shopper interest for barcode scanning at no cost. By adding a feature that is highly valued by users, retailers who have already invested in building a mobile-friendly web site will increase their visibility and return on investment. All that is necessary is inserting a few lines of code into their existing web application to display a "Scan Barcode" button for iPhone-bearing visitors (and Android users too).

The pic2shop Web Integration Kit is perfect for:
* Online retailers
* Price comparison sites
* Product reviews (books, dvds, games, consumer electronics, etc)
* Product information (e.g. nutritional, environmental)
* Gift lists and shopping-oriented social media

When the customer presses the "Scan Barcode" button on the web page, their iPhone launches the pic2shop barcode scanner app.
If pic2shop is not installed, a message is briefly displayed, then the user is automatically taken to the iTunes App Store where they can install pic2shop for free.

If pic2shop is installed, it goes immediately in scanning mode. By aiming the camera at the barcode for one second or two, the UPC or EAN is read (even on older iPhone models). As soon as the code is recognized, pic2shop opens the Safari web browser to search the web application with the barcode digits. The entire processs only takes a few seconds, and is much faster than typing 12 digits or a product name using the on-screen keyboard. And considerably more fun.

Among the API's most prolific features is its zero cost to implementation, ability to help retailers enhance the shopping experience, and generate buzz about their products. By taking advantage of the iPhone's custom URL scheme, any app or web page can launch pic2shop, have the user scan a barcode, and then pass the barcode back to the calling web page or app. Vision Smarts has made a web page specific for developers available on their website. For application developers, there is a complete Xcode project that shows how to implement this mechanism in a just few lines of code and an online demo for web developers.

pic2shop Feature Highlights:
* Comfortable and simple User Interface
* Takes only a few seconds
* Compare prices and decide whether to purchase in-store, or to buy online, all in real time
* Allows other iPhone apps and web apps to use pic2shop as a free barcode scanner

"Shopping by barcode is one of those things that make the mobile internet different, and so exciting," said Benoit Maison, founder of Vision Smarts. "You just can't do that at your desk. With this new feature of pic2shop, any shopping web site can provide additional value to their users, at no cost. Our objective is to make pic2shop the standard iPhone barcode reader"

Device Requirements:
* iPhone 3.1 or later

Pricing and Availability:
pic2shop 3.0.1 is completely free and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Productivity category. Currently, product search returns results from retailers located in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, The Netherlands and Belgium. A major effort is under way to support more countries and more retailers.

Based in Wavre, Belgium, Vision Smarts SPRL is a privately held company founded in 2009 by Benoit Maison. Committed to providing the highest quality software, Vision Smarts strives to make cutting-edge technology available in an easy-to-integrate and affordable form to clients who may not otherwise have the resources to develop it on their own. Vision Smarts develops, distributes, and supports software libraries for image recognition and real-time video analysis. Copyright (C) 2009 Vision Smarts SPRL. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone and iPod are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.