Mobile Barcode Scanners and Retail Stores on Collision Course

Ilya Vedrashko points out a near-term future scenario in which retail sites are going to have to entirely rethink what integration into online services means:

The obvious future of in-store experience: you find something you like, reach into your pocket for a small device, scan the barcode, and the device tells you whether and where the same product is available for a lower price. Brick-and-mortar stores become little more than showrooms for merchandise bought elsewhere.

This future just got one step closer today [July 12] with the release of an iPhone app Checkout SmartShop, “a shopping assistant meant to help you find online and local prices when you’re out and about shopping.” For now, you still need to type in the UPS code; they are working on converting the iPhone camera into a barcode scanner.

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