No Barcodes Needed for Amazon Flow

Amazon’s image-recognition app could mean trouble for brick-and-mortar stores

The ability to scan barcodes from our phones has given consumers the power to easily compare prices. Now, mega e-retailer Amazon has made price comparison even more simple.

The Flow app enables shoppers to identify products from their home or the store by simply taking a picture of it. From there, Amazon matches the object to images in their database.

This could be a dangerous tool for brick-and-mortar retailers. Imagine being at a store, seeing something you want and then within seconds, discovering it’s cheaper on Amazon.

By using imaging instead of barcodes, consumers needn’t actually touch the object or look for a barcode. In addition, barcodes have to be scanned one at a time. Flow was coined because of its ability to scan multiple objects at once by waving the phone across them in succession.

While Flow has been around for a few years in standalone apps, it’s now integrated into their mobile shopping app, making mobile purchasing easier than ever before. Flow works on just about every product—just about every product that Amazon sells, that is.

Watch the video below to see Flow in action.

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