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Amazon’s Screwy Image Search


Amazon logoImagine working on a DIY project and losing one of the screws needed to put things back together. Now you can take a picture of the like screw you still have, and Amazon’s “Part Finder” feature on its app will help you identify it so you can order more. (Or you could visit your local hardware store and ask the clerk, if that’s an option.)

TechCrunch discovered the image-search feature on the Amazon app this month and wrote about it here:

“The feature is currently capable of identifying over 100 types of fasteners which represents thousands, if not millions of parts, Amazon says. It was built using technology developed by Partpic, a company Amazon acquired in 2016.”

Some day in the not-to-distant future, 3D printers might be as common as microwave ovens. At that point, a parts finder could be tied to a blueprint service so someone could conceivably print out the screw or fastener they need on their printer, and be able to wrap up their projects much faster.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
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 ina@ecommercebytes.com.