How many times have you been out shopping, saw a product you liked, and wondered if you could find it cheaper somewhere else? It happens to all of us – and the tech industry knows it.
So it’s not surprising that one of the hottest new cell phone applications is one that makes comparison shopping a breeze. It’s called ShopSavvy. Here’s how it works:
When you’re out shopping, start up the ShopSavvy application on your phone.
The application activates your phone’s camera to read barcodes.
Take a picture of the barcode of the product you want to compare.
ShopSavvy automatically searches online stores and nearby bricks-and-mortar stores.
You pick the best deal. If it’s physically nearby, ShopSavvy uses GPS to direct you to the store’s location.
Additional features include: Reviews, price alerts, wish lists, browsing history, and the ability to forward links to friends.
This is a fantastic idea for anyone who wants to save money easily and doesn’t do all their shopping online, like me. Much as I love online shopping, sometimes it’s just more fun to head out to bricks-and-mortar shops, and you get the satisfaction of having the product in your hands right away instead of waiting for shipping.
What I like about ShopSavvy is the ease and speed of use. No endless button-pushing and navigating. Just quick and easy. On the downside, you can’t search by product name, only by barcode – and as of now, the ShopSavvy database is not 100% complete, so certain products might not show up in your search. Also, the application does not list or suggest similar products. That would be a nice feature to have – sometimes I see an interesting product but I think to myself, “hmmm…maybe another brand would be better or cheaper, or have more of the features I want.”
Finally, the bad news…this cool new application is so far only available on one phone – the T-Mobile G1 (Google phone). http://www.t-mobileg1.com The G1 phone uses a Google-developed operating system called Android. ShopSavvy is built to use the Android operating system, and in fact it won Google’s Android Developer Challenge contest last fall. The ShopSavvy application was developed by a Dallas-based company called Big in Japan which, despite the name, is a U.S. company. I’d like to see the company adapt ShopSavvy as an application for other phones, too.
Meantime, if you don’t have the G1 phone, you’ll have to content yourself with Frucall – http://www.frucall.com – where you can text the barcode number or product name to FRU11, or call 1-888-DO-FRUCALL.