Google has integrated barcode scanning capabilities into Google Product Search for mobile phones running Android in the United States and the United Kingdom. The app aims to help consumers find prices, ratings, reviews, and product details from across the Web.
Today, barcode scanning works best for products such as electronics, books, movies and video games, but the plan is to add more barcodes soon, writes Eiji Hirai, Software Engineer, Google Mobile team, in a blog post.
After downloading the application from Android Market and installing it on the phone, Hirai says to go back to Product Search in the browser and tap on the 'Scan Barcode' button again. Select "Use by default for this action" and tap on the Barcode Scanner option. After the app opens, center the red line on the barcode and hold the phone. When the barcode reads successfully, a Google Product Search results page appears in the browser.
There have been a host of third-party applications developed for Android. Google launched the G1 and created a developers' network, challenging Apple iPhone. Through that network, Big in Japan introduced ShopSavvy, which allows consumers to use the phone camera to scan barcodes and find the best prices for local items online.
When a consumer downloads the application and takes a picture of any UPC bar code with the phone, the application brings up a search page with local listings related to the product.