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Best Buy Launches Price-Comparison Shopping App

2/16/2011 03:18:34 PM Eastern

Berkeley, Calif. - Best
Buy has released a comparison shopping app on the iPhone and Android platforms
that allows customers to research products by photographing them.

According to IQ Engines, which developed the image-recognition
technology, the Best Buy App lets consumers compare product features as well as
prices against other brands and stores.

Such apps, and the price transparency they bring, were cited by
Best Buy Americas president Michael Vitelli as the impetus for considering a switch
to an everyday-price strategy, according to a Bloomberg report.

"I believe that visual search empowers the mobile consumer by
quickly allowing them to start a product and information search by simply using
the camera on their smartphones," said Gary Koelling, Best Buy's emerging
channels director. "We selected IQ Engines because of its speed, accuracy and
ability to label any image."

The company debuted its any-image recognition technology last
year with the release of oMoby, a visual search application for the iPhone. Other
customers include comparison shopping site Nextag and ESRB, the video game
rating board.

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