February 23, 2010, 12:00 AM

A quick picture lets Android shoppers comparison shop through Google

Consumers with Android phones can use their phones’ cameras to snap pictures of the covers of books, CDs, DVDs and video games, or most bar codes, and automatically submit the image to Google, which returns detailed product information and more.

Aiming to make mobile browsing and comparison shopping easier for the growing number of users of phones with the Android operating system, developed in part by Google Inc., Google has added Google Shopper to its assortment of mobile apps.

Using the app, consumers with Android phones can use their phones’ cameras to snap pictures of the cover art of books, CDs, DVDs and video games, or most bar codes, and automatically submit the image to Google. Google then returns detailed product information, pricing and reviews.

Google Shopper also enables consumers to use voice recognition technology to speak the name of a product to conduct a search. It also allows for sharing information through e-mail or social networks, and it saves a history of product searches for future reference.

“Use Shopper to make smart decisions about what to buy, what price to pay and where to buy it,” say Google software engineers Daniel Switkin and Farhan Shamsi in a post on the Google Mobile Blog.

Lindsey Kurz, Google’s online sales and operations manager, will be speaking at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition 2010 in a session entitled "Advertising beyond search to expand your customer base."

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