Amazon's Flow makes it even easier to buy stuff online

07 February 2014

As though it was not already easy to buy stuff on the web, Amazon is making it easier still it a smartphone camera, Wired reports.

Users would be able to scan items at home using their smartphone's camera and quickly order all of their packaged goods online.

The new feature, called Flow, would be only available for iOS inside Amazon's shopping app. For now the feature would be only for iPhones  and Amazaon is yet to announce when it would be extended to other smartphone platforms, or on the Kindle Fire.

Rather than taking a photo of an item or scanning a barcode, item recognition happens on the basis their shape, size, colour, box text, and general appearance.

Users need to hold up their iPhone up to a row of items on their shelf or counter, and within seconds of ''seeing'' it with the iPhone's camera, every recognisable item is placed in a queue to be added to their Amazon cart.

As one scanned, tiny sparkling blue stars appeared over the items, like tiny Tinkerbells helping users with the purchase.

Amazon said, the twinkling lights were added as a visual indicator that the Flow feature was working - they showed up as the app was determining what was being scanned via a query to Amazon's database.

The results sent back to the users' phone, and users are present with successfully scanned products in their queue.

According to Gizmodo, it was already a cinch to use the app, and the best and fastest way to buy something when one was nowhere near a computer, which was inevitably when one remembered that one really needed to buy something.

But with the new Flow feature on Amazon's iOS app, one would be looking up items by simply pointing one's phone at them.

The app had had visual search since 2009, but the new version was way slicker than the existing "Scan it" and "Snap it" search features that already exited.

Until now, one could scan the barcode of an item one liked to buy or snap a picture of it and search it against Amazon's image database-provided it was a book, DVD, CD, or video game.

With the new feature in its mobile shopping app, one would never need to go the store again.

 search domain-b