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Amazon Launches iPhone App With Photo Recognition

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The UK arm of online retailer, Amazon has launched a shopping application for the Apple iPhone, which in addition to the expected features also enables users to take a photo of a book and use that image to search for its counterpart on the Amazon store.

"Customers have been requesting an Amazon.co.uk shopping app for their iPhone and iPod touch and we are thrilled to introduce the Amazon App in time for Christmas," said Brian McBride, managing director of Amazon.co.uk. "Experience in the US tells us that the Amazon Remembers feature is proving very useful to customers because it remembers items of interest for them, helping to keep track of products and matching photos with items to buy on Amazon."

The Amazon Remembers feature uses the iPhone camera to find and remember items available for sale on Amazon.co.uk. For many photos matches are instant, while some take just a few minutes. As soon as the customer receives the match results they can take advantage of all their favourite shopping features and either purchase the item immediately, remember it in their Amazon account, make price comparisons across Marketplace sellers or add it to their Wish List.

There have been price comparison and mobile shopping applications in the past where users could compare prices of items they found in retail stores - but these traditionally relied on people manually entering the book's ISBN code, or scanning the product barcode. This is believed to be the first that relies on photo recognition.

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