Mobile Barcode Readers – A Vision Of Shopping in the Future?

It’s sixty years since the barcode was invented and now it’s responsible for making mobile phones a powerful shopping tool. Well, if the supermarket giant Tesco thinks so, it must be true.

Tesco has launched a mobile shopping app that includes a barcode scanner, but it’s not just for the simple act of making purchases. Tesco has a vision of their customers discovering they’ve just used their last tin of tomatoes, scanning the tin with their phone, which then places the item in their tesco.com shopping list, ready for the next shop.

Another scenario they propose is you attend a dinner party, compliment the host on their dessert (which happens to be from the Tesco Finest range, naturally) then scan it in, which also adds it to your next shopping list.

We can’t see the latter scenario happening in reality. What self-respecting host would get their discarded packaging out of the bin, rather than lie about making the dessert themselves from scratch?!

Overall though, this does sound like a useful and practical app. We like the way you can easily add items to a shopping list, the moment you realise the item is needed – much more efficient than having scraps of paper with little lists on…

This shopping app is only available on the iPhone at the moment, but there are plans for it to come to Nokia and Windows phones with cameras. We will keep you posted.

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