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  • Your iPhone can Read Barcodes


    RedLaser, a new app available via Cydia, is very cool. It's a barcode reader for the iPhone - and it works even on the 2G and 3G iPhones, without auto-focus. Reading straight from the camera feed (no need to take a photo, just hold it up to the bar code and wait a second), all 3 models of iPhone can run RedLaser. Oh, and its free... which is a nice price.

    The app lets you do online price comparisons using Google's db, and view items in Amazon.com. There's all sorts of extra options available as well - and way more possible with their SDK. Imagine reading reviews on scanned books, beaming movies to your TiVo, adding milk to your grocery list... possibilities are endles.

    RedLaser's magic comes from their scanner algorithm. We chatted with Jeffrey Powers, co-founder of Occipital (make of RedLaser), who said:

    The bars are so blurry up close that we had to create software that is able to mathematically compensate in a way that had never been done before on the iPhone. Getting it to run fast enough for the phone was another big feat. We spent three months getting it to the level it's at now.
    Occipital is doing some cool stuff, like an SDK for using their RedLaser - look for AppStore app cor.kz to add barcode scanning support to their wine app soon.

    But for some REALLY cool stuff they're looking into using the iPhone's camera and GPS setup... check out the below video from a blog they posted a few months back... now THAT'S intense.



    Keep an eye on these guys, they've got some great stuff in the works.

    Occipital
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Your iPhone can Read Barcodes started by Kyle Matthews View original post
    Comments 103 Comments
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      What do you mean your phone can't read it? Do you mean the software doesn't actually read any barcodes or it reads them and gets them wrong?

      The version from Cydia works fine on my 3G
    1. edwilk55's Avatar
      edwilk55 -
      I've been using that app for a while now and it's a little slow for multiple uses.

      I can tell you a funny story where it actually saved us a lot of time and effort.

      We had a MUX that we needed the serial number off of and couldn't physically see the number from where it was mounted in the rack.

      We tried a Blackberry camera and my iPhone's camera, but the pic kept coming out to blurry.

      Using this app, it focuses much closer (almost like macro mode) on items than the std iPhone camera software.

      It grabbed a clear and concise pic of the serial. We were able to get support w/out having to take that sucker out of the rack!
    1. StealthBravo's Avatar
      StealthBravo -
      ^ Very cool!
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      That's not cool. That's awesome. Great alternative use for a great product.
      I think we'll see a lot more of this
    1. PCeasar's Avatar
      PCeasar -
      to JR powers, I've spoken to many people and your app is super awesome however, I could see you selling even way more if you added the following:

      The ability to go to a local supermarket scan your items and do one of two things, either compare the price in this supermarket/store against the price of others in the vicinity as well as the ability to, after scanning all your shopping items click a total button and no ahead of time how much your bill will be, maybe you might want to put some stuff back. These were mostly female iPhoners I spoke to. If theres such a word.
    1. edwilk55's Avatar
      edwilk55 -
      Quote Originally Posted by edwilk55 View Post
      I've been using that app for a while now and it's a little slow for multiple uses.

      I can tell you a funny story where it actually saved us a lot of time and effort.

      We had a MUX that we needed the serial number off of and couldn't physically see the number from where it was mounted in the rack.

      We tried a Blackberry camera and my iPhone's camera, but the pic kept coming out to blurry.

      Using this app, it focuses much closer (almost like macro mode) on items than the std iPhone camera software.

      It grabbed a clear and concise pic of the serial. We were able to get support w/out having to take that sucker out of the rack!
      Thought I'd add the pics to go along with the story:

      Regular iPhone Pic:


      Red Laser Pic:
    1. Faxmonkey's Avatar
      Faxmonkey -
      Quote Originally Posted by southfrisco View Post
      What would make this a killer app? Use the GPS or for other devices enter zip code, scan a bar code, display relevant items located at stores in your area (within a 15-20 mile radius). If there are no results in the area then display possible coupons for the item scanned at stores in your area.

      It is hit or miss on my 3G and most of the results are either no results or from online retailers I've never heard of. I'm not buying my groceries from a bunch of different online sites.

      Hopefully the database will improve over time.

      Yeah, it wouldn't even be that hard to do -- just plug in the user's current zip code + item and run search at Shoplocal.com and return the results.

      Edit: I guess that can't give you local prices on everything, just on stuff that's on sale (searches through their ads). Still, it'd be a nice feature to have. If they could find a way to get a database of local stores prices on various things that'd be even better. How cool would it be to be the grocery, to scan an item, and see that its 20% cheaper down the road at another store?
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      That might work in the USA but not a lot of use for the rest of us.

      This is a great app with a lot of possibilities for the future. I'm sure the developer has been snowed under with suggestions!
    1. pest's Avatar
      pest -
      This app costs $1.99 in app store
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      It was free, but if they are charging a couple of bucks I think it's worth it.
    1. StealthBravo's Avatar
      StealthBravo -
      Its worth it for sure
    1. ronblade's Avatar
      ronblade -
      I have been looking for such kind of application since last year. Does it really work on 2G? I am confused. Any other people have any idea? Let me know.
    1. lilskaterpunk's Avatar
      lilskaterpunk -
      Its awesome how this app actually comes in handy!
      In Wally world the other day and looking at some storage containers, there were no prices on the larger ones. So I tried to find a employee but no one in sight. I just thought I could try this app and scan the code but most likely it will not find it. Well however it did! I was sweet lol The only crappy part was it was in US $$$ and I was looking for CAN $$$ At least it was a ruff estimate.

      Thanks again for the helpful app!
    1. javiert30's Avatar
      javiert30 -
      Quote Originally Posted by ronblade View Post
      I have been looking for such kind of application since last year. Does it really work on 2G? I am confused. Any other people have any idea? Let me know.
      Yes it works with 2G iPhones, It saves me to go store by store to compare prices and ending at the end of my search in the first one that I was. Save me lots of time. Works perfect
    1. jonat's Avatar
      jonat -
      I paid for the one in the AppStore, and it doesn't work at all. As others have said, it can't even consistently read the barcode, much less find anything in its database. This new one does work well.
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      The Cydia version is a later version and works well.
      One of the problems with the App store is how long it takes for developers to get updates approved. In this case we are lucky and the dev releases them first on Cydia
    1. bbillh77's Avatar
      bbillh77 -
      started well then updated now gone not gonna buy it from apple don't need it
    1. astalavistadear's Avatar
      astalavistadear -
      jeez.. might prove helpful
    1. Dutch's Avatar
      Dutch -
      Ok newb question... why can't I find it on cydia?
    1. CaptainChaos's Avatar
      CaptainChaos -
      They probably took it off of Cydia because it is in the App store now: iTunes Store