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Amazon has launched a new augmented reality app for the iPhone called Flow. With, you can use your camera to scan either a whole product or a product’s barcode, and get an overlay of Amazon details on top of it. The app recognizes products such as CDs, DVDs, games, books, and tens of millions of other packaged products, such as “a box of cereal” (Amazon’s own example).
By pointing your camera to the front side of the packaging or the barcode, you get Amazon’s price, product details, customer reviews and ratings, and you can also share the product on Facebook and Twitter. If you find that Amazon’s price is better than the one you’re holding in your hand, you can tap the “Buy Now” button in the app and get the product through Amazon. It can also be quite useful if you simply want to check if the product is good or worthless, and if you’re getting ripped off at the current store.
By providing this app, Amazon are probably assuming that their price will beat the one you’re holding in your hand at least some of the time. Otherwise, why would you choose to order from Amazon when you already have the product right there?
The app is apparently only available in the US iTunes store. If you find it anywhere else, you’re welcome to let us know.
What do you think of Flow and of augmented reality apps in general? Will you use something like this to check products before you buy?