Seattle – Amazon.com is using image recognition technology to allow consumers to simply wave an iPhone in front of a product and automatically have it placed on their Amazon shopping list. The feature, called Flow, is designed to be a quicker way to search for products than by typing their name or scanning their bar code. To access it, users must have the latest Amazon app update.
"Flow is a way to search for products without typing, scanning a bar code or taking a photo," Amazon said in a statement. "It allows customers to simply move their iPhone camera over multiple items while standing in their kitchen, bathroom or laundry room, identifying and purchasing most of their shopping list in seconds."
Flow’s history feature gives the user access to all their scanned items, sorted by date, product category, item name or scan type.
While Amazon is promoting Flow as a way to quickly create shopping lists, presumably another purpose to make it easier for consumers to “showroom,” or use mobile devices to make online purchases of in-store items. The retailer displaying the item in the store then loses the sale.
Flow is currently available only on Amazon's iPhone app. So far, it is not available for Android or Windows smartphones.