EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2666 - November 03, 2011     4 of 5

Amazon Uses Image Recognition and Barcode Reader in New iPhone App

Email This Story to a Friend subsidiary launched a new iPhone app that uses both barcode and image recognition to recognize tens of millions of products in a live camera view in a real world setting. Flow Powered by Amazon recognizes products, from books and DVDs to packaged electronics and toys, and the mobile app offers shoppers interactive product information.

Customers point their iPhone toward products with UPC barcodes. Upon visual recognition of the product, the app displays product information, including the option to play multimedia content and read customer reviews.'s mission is to create groundbreaking technologies in search, advertising, and mobile that power customer centric, internet businesses. President Bill Stasior said, "This is our first step towards integrating product search technology with augmented reality. The integration of a live camera display, graphical overlays, and visual recognition technology creates a seamless experience for a customer looking to discover information about objects in their physical surroundings."

Flow uses continuous scan technology developed by's visual search team to identify products and provide related information found on The app displays Amazon's popular shopping features such as product details, customer reviews and ratings, as well as sharing options via Twitter, Facebook, or email.

Flow Powered by Amazon is available as a free download from the Apple App Store at

About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to

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