Friday, February 27, 2009

ShopSavvy Impressions

ShopSavvy is quite an interesting application available for Google’s Android mobile phone G1. Since a few weeks I use such a G1 and I gave this application a try.

What is ShopSavvy?

ShopSavvy is some sort of shopping assistant: It enables you to compare prices of products quickly.

The most interesting feature is that such comparisons are based on the product barcode (e.g. an EAN code). The barcode is decoded with the built in camera of the G1 (no manual key-in required) - and ShopSavvy then digs the deep wide web for identical products, their pricing - and possible shopping alternatives.

Great idea and quite funny for some minutes. I imagined myself standing in front of some product, decoding the bar code and thereafter bargaining with the seller (and using the G1 as the perfect discussion base).

Because price comparison has never been easier I can also imagine that some shop owners will hate this application. Especially for highly-priced products such an online price comparison makes sense.

But let me come to my point: The idea "ShopSavvy" has really potential. Pricing is just one aspect. Product discussions and customer feedback ("What does other customers think about this product") may be the next step.

Finally, a world-wide product database (based on product barcodes) is not far away (idea copyrighted by TEC-IT ;-)): G1 users use ShopSavvy world-wide, they enter missing products (like a ProductWikipedia.com), entries are corrected and extended by other users - and voila: all products world-wide are available via bar-code. International pricing included.

Before I forget: The company NeoMedia claims (or at least tries to claim - I am not sure if this patent was rejected shortly) a patent (#6,651,053) which may cover parts of the original ShopSavvy idea.

Let me know what you think.