Search using the barcode

Wed 27 May 2009 14:29, Bas van den Beld

Search using the barcode

In the US and the UK Google has launched a very interesting feature: barcode scanning with Google Product Search for mobile. With this feature you can scan a product and immediately search on the (mobile) web looking for details of the product. The only thing you will need is an Android phone...

Barcode scanning is according to Google best used for products like electronics, books, movies or video games which have the most barcodes scanned in the Google database. Google says it will be adding new codes soon for other items.

The feature will definitely help making the mobile web more and more interesting. A direct search for a product will also mean a boost for local search. Imagine you are an owner of a bookstore. If you're able to rank high on certain books with a price just a little bit lower than your competitor next door you will probably sell a lot of extra books.

Here's how Google explains how barcode search works:

"First, visit the Google Product Search for mobile homepage by going to in your browser and selecting 'Shopping' from the 'more' tab. Next, tap on the 'Scan Barcode' button to install the latest version of the Barcode Scanner app -- if you don't already have it -- from Android Market.

After you've installed the application, go back to Product Search in your 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 over the barcode and hold the phone steady. When the barcode is read successfully, you'll see a Google Product Search results page back in the browser.

You can also access the scanner directly from the top of the Product Search results page by tapping on the barcode button."

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