Amazon’s search division, A9, has acquired mobile search service SnapTell. SnapTell is an image-recognition app that can identify the cover a piece of media (like a book, DVD or computer game) through a cameraphone and return pricing info and reviews from the web.
SnapTell has been consistently high in the list of the most popular iPhone apps since its launch. The app can identify products from a database of about 5 million products, with info sourced from sources including Google, Amazon and eBay. SnapTell hasn’t revealed any of the details of the purchase – but one presumes that it will be focusing more on results from Amazon from now on.
From the SnapTell Blog:
“One of the most heard requests was how we could integrate better with Amazon’s fabulous shopping experience … We should be able to do so pretty well now… We are excited to join forces with a company that has innovated on behalf of customers for over a decade and is a pioneer in online shopping. Like Amazon, we believe there is a lot of innovation ahead for visual shopping and we are thrilled to join A9.com at this exciting time.”
What we think?
This is huge news for visual search. The product catalogue on Amazon is vast. If you were able to link to anything on it through your mobile device, it would instantly increase the use of visual mobile search. SnapTell would no longer just be about movies and DVDs – you could have electronics, cloths, furniture, food, toys… anything sold through Amazon. Depending on what Amazon does with this service, it could turn itself into one of the leaders in mobile search.