Camera Phone Clicks As A Credit Card

from the snap-and-buy dept

A company in Japan has come up with an innovative use of camera phones. While people have talked about using phones to buy things by dialing a phone number, this goes one (or perhaps several) steps further. They let you buy something by taking its picture with a cameraphone, and then sending the image to their server. Basically, it’s a proxy for a barcode reader. You snap a picture of the barcode, send it to a special address, and you get billed and the product gets shipped off to you. They point out that the special barcode could be displayed anywhere – on a product, in a magazine, on TV, or even on a website. No idea if it will catch on, but it certainly is a different way to use a camera phone that takes advantage of what a camera phone is good at. It basically lets you “click and buy” from anywhere – and not just the web.

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Comments on “Camera Phone Clicks As A Credit Card”

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Beck says:

What About the Price?

How do you know the price of the item? This sounds like that bar-code scanner that you were supposed to use to scan magazine ads to get more information online. Whatever happened to them? Last I heard they were suing the hackers who were taking the free devices and modifying them for other uses.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: What About the Price?

You’re thinking of Cuecat. They went out of business a long time ago. This is quite different, though, because it works via your mobile phone camera, and thus can work anywhere.

The Cuecat solution had to be attached to your computer, and just took you to a webpage, which was totally useless.

Anyway, as for pricing, the idea is that they display the price with the barcode. I think there’s a lot more to this idea than the Cuecat, though, I don’t know if it will catch on.

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