Amazon wants to make it so easy for you to buy online that you won’t even have to type what you’re looking for. Thanks to a new feature on their mobile shopping app, users can now just scan items in their homes using their smartphone’s camera and place an order for the product immediately.
The update goes by the name of “Flow,” and for the time being it’s only available for iPhone users. While the company hasn’t announced when Android or Kindle Fire users can get their hands on the update, it’s probably just a matter of time. For those who can access the app, Flow is able to identify items using their shape, size, color, box text, and general appearance – there’s no need for barcodes or actual picture-taking.
Amazon’s app is perfect for identifying items around the house without too much expended effort, or compare different products in physical stores that you might want to buy online later. According to Wired, Flow normally takes two seconds to identify items, although there are some that require up to five. It’s also not great for grocery items yet, especially as the app struggles to recognize the portion size of various items.
Speaking with Wired, Amazon’s vice president of mobile Sam Hall said that the company’s goal is for the app to identify “anything in the world.” While it probably has that potential, right now it serves as another ingenious way for Amazon to encourage customers to add something to their basket before they get a chance to change their mind.