In our day-to-day life, technology and physical items are both mixed up together. Now, with a new app from superstore Target (News - Alert), the lines between them get even blurrier—but shopping gets even easier.
Target has recently released an app called “In a Snap,” which will enable users to purchase items from Target after scanning their picture on their smartphone. Users can scan images located throughout Target’s own catalogs, as well as ads placed by the store in other magazines, and then purchase those items with just a few taps.
In a Snap was dreamt up by Target’s marketing group, then built by the Rapid Accelerated Development technology team. It’s currently in beta (customers are invited to give feedback), and its capabilities are limited to scanning items and products contained within Target ads; scanning outside photos won’t work. Luckily, Target’s name is spread widely enough that users will find plenty of products to work with. For instance, the app will recognize Target Room Essentials products as they appear in magazines like Real Simple or Architectural Digest.
The app marks another move in the advancement of image scanning—it’s not an entirely new concept, but compared to strategies like QR code or bar code scanning, it’s certainly in its infancy. Physical retailers are bracing themselves for an influx of mobile shopping from apps like In a Snap; in particular, the release of the Fire Phone (News - Alert) from Amazon is slated to bring with it a service called Firefly, which claims the ability to scan and recognize over 100 million physical items for purchase. The Apple (News - Alert) and Play stores have hosted a similarly-capable app, Flow, for some time now.
In a Snap will be available on the Apple Store, and it will be interesting to see how it stacks up against the competition—or creates competition itself.
Edited by Adam Brandt
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