Let's be honest. How many times have you shopped online since Thanksgiving? I lost count on Friday. All the apps make it so easy to browse millions of products right from the couch, and today, Taryn Offenbacher and I want to share some tips with you for Cyber Monday.
Have you noticed the camera icon next to the search bar on the Amazon app? (Hint: you may have to update your app like I did.) It opens new tools, which include product search, barcode scanner, AR view, and more.
Open the Amazon camera and point and shoot at anything and Amazon's sensors will detect the product and provide search results. This works on literally anything. Even dogs. Poor Lucy, now lovingly referred to as Brown Dog.
I pointed it at my Pyrex measuring cup and the sensors correctly identified the brand.
The barcode scanner makes it easy to find exactly what you're looking for if you're holding one. Let's say you run out of laundry detergent. Simply scan the barcode and order from Amazon. You can also use it to easily compare prices when you're shopping in a store. And many stores will price-match these days, so this makes it even easier to be sure you have an apples-to-apples product match.
AR, or Augmented Reality, is a really neat feature, but I wish they had more products in their AR catalog. Maybe that will come with time. For now, when you select AR view, you can select a product from Top Picks, Living Room, Home Decor, Bedroom, Kitchen, Electronics, or Toys and Games. Once you select the product, aim your camera at a flat surface. Once Amazon detects the surface, yellow corners will appear. Simply tap the outlined space to drop your selected product into your view. This toy DeLorean from Back to the Future is a Top Pick, and I wanted to see how it'd look in my living room. You can walk around the item, viewing it from all angles. (Warning: doing this will greatly confuse your dogs.)
You can also place items on countertops or stoves. I love this Le Creuset stockpot!
It also works on larger items like rugs. My only wish is that Amazon would somehow adjust the brightness of the product based on the brightness of the room. This rug looked way too bright for the naturally lighted room I put it in. And the stockpot looks a little odd, too, but this technology is amazing. Again, you can walk around (and on) the product, which I find helpful.
To view the info on any AR view product, tap the ••• in the top right corner and its page will open in your app.
Amazon Gift Card: point your camera at an Amazon gift card to add it to your account.
Package X-ray: align your Amazon shipping label to a template that appears in your camera view to get the details on what's inside.
Stickers: add fun stickers to a photo or a selfie. Sticker categories are Top Picks, Fun, Home, Pets, Gold, Lego, Creatures, Wood, Women's, Workspace, Little Kids, Gadgets. Your camera roll is not accessible, so you have to take the photo from the Amazon app.
The Greatest Snowman: If you have The Greatest Snowman box, you can unlock an exclusive trailer for the upcoming movie by centering the image on your box in front of the camera.
I'm a big fan of Photojojo, which specializes in phone photography (aka phonography) gear. I love the Everything Everyday Kit, which includes charging accessories for your phone, plus a 2-in-1 wide angle and/or macro lens. The kit is $48 today (with promo code) and is available in microUSB and lightning (iPhone). They rarely have sales, so this is a big deal.