Nokia has taken its barcode reading technology several steps further and is developing a smartphone that can order an item online from a photo taken by the user.
Barcode reading applications are already available on many mobiles, allowing phone users to scan barcodes on advertising posters or in newspaper ads. The codes direct the phone’s Internet browser to a website where further information about the product can be found.
Nokia has developed the technology to allow a camera phone user to take a photo of an item in a window display. The phone’s image recognition software then finds the item on the shop’s Internet store.
The website is loaded and the customer can instantly buy the item online and have it delivered within 24 hours.
The software can also be used by travellers to translate restaurant menus. Nokia has added text recognition and translation software allowing the phone to scan a menu and quickly translate thousands of food-related words.
It is currently being developed to translate Japanese and Chinese, but other languages will be added in the future.