iPhone only: When you see a book, CD, DVD, or game at a friend's house you want to look up and bookmark instantly, fire up SnapTell Explorer on your iPhone or iPod touch and take a photo of it. Similar to a bar code scanner (except you photograph the item cover, not its bar code), SnapTell automatically looks up your item and gives you links to Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Wikipedia, and straight-up search engines so you can compare prices and find out more about it. SnapTell's results aren't 100% accurate—once it gave me a strategy guide result when I photographed a video game cover—but everything else I tried it on, the results were spot-on. (Though you can bet an Australian bar code might throw it — LH AU ed.) Here's what the result for the Halo 3 photograph looked like.
SnapTell pulls in the official product image and gives you links to look it up in places like Amazon and Wikipedia. If you hit the "Share this product" button you can email the item to someone. (What it needs to do—and maybe in a future iteration—is display prices and details here, with these links below them.)
Your SnapTell results get stored in a single list, called "My Snaps." It would be nice to set up multiple lists (like "wishlist" or "gift ideas for my sweetie") but right now it's only a single list.
One of the most impressive apps we tried on the G1 phone running Android was the Compare Everywhere bar code scanner that does photo-lookups just like this. While SnapTell doesn't offer the same amount of detail and on-the-spot price comparison, for iPhone owners, it's a fast and easy way to instantly capture products of interest. SnapTell Explorer is a free download for the iPhone
and iPod touch.