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.