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Amazon, Apple & Apps… oh my!

Once again, Amazon.com is taking the lead in an effort to dominate the e-commerce world.  Wednesday they made available an Amazon.com specific application for iPhone and iPod touch users on the Apple App Store.  While some may view this as jumping on the Apple App Store bandwagon, it is actually an effort to find a new tributary for it’s business path.  Through this new applicationcustomers will be able to browse through Amazon’s vast website and use all their usual services. Not that you can’t do this through the browser already on your device, but it is certainly an interesting ‘experiment’ for big online retail experiences to enter the Apple App marketplace.

What makes this unique for them is the experimental feature called “Amazon Remembers”.  Customers simply take photos with their iPhone of items they find interesting in their daily lives.  The photos are automatically uploaded to Amazon.com, which then tries to find products similar to the ones in the photos. As soon as the customer receives the results, they can then purchase the item immediately or “remember it” for later in their Amazon account.  One of the basic concepts is for customers to now be able to have a visual reminder or list of things they are interested in while on-the-go.  The hope is that your new iPhone camera is now a shopping tool for remembering the “ooh what’s that!”s that we come across so often.

As I mentioned earlier, the interest in the idea of Amazon.com using the Apple App Store as a portal to their business may lead to other companies trying similar things.  So keep your eyes and mind open for how our material world will mesh with the virtual one through gadgets and companies.

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