DUBLIN, Ohio, USA, 29 March 2010—iPhone users can now download the free pic2shop application to scan book barcodes and find local libraries who have them through WorldCat.
The pic2shop app is one of the original mobile apps designed for consumers who like to comparison shop. Users scan a book barcode with their iPhone, and can compare costs to get the book at various retailers or now a local library. The app uses the WorldCat Search API and WorldCat Registry APIs to deliver results for libraries nearby who hold the item in WorldCat, the world’s largest library catalogue. Location and mapping information is also available.
Developed by Vision Smarts, a technology company based in Belgium, pic2shop was the first iPhone app that could read UPCs and EANs. It broadens the availability for book barcode-scanning functionality, as it offers a free download and works on all available iPhones—even first generation models. In addition, pic2shop works in all countries, although not all users may have nearby libraries with up-to-date holdings in WorldCat. Vision Smarts is also developing pic2shop apps for additional platforms beyond the iPhone.
"Cataloguing books is what we originally had in mind when we set out to build pic2shop more than a year ago. As an avid reader, I find WorldCat truly amazing. I am very proud to help make library results more widely known and available to all pic2shop users worldwide," explains Benoit Maison, founder of Vision Smarts and lead developer for the pic2shop app.
Mike Teets, OCLC Vice President for Innovation, explains that "putting library results in mobile phone apps such as pic2shop helps remind users that a local library might have the book they’re thinking to buy. And libraries gain extra visibility and value from their OCLC membership, thanks to the cooperative power of WorldCat."
The pic2shop iPhone app is one of several mobile applications designed for users to access library information from WorldCat. In addition to apps such as RedLaser for iPhone and Compare Everywhere for Android, the WorldCat Mobile pilot app is available for download on all Web-enabled phones in the UK, U.S., Netherlands, Germany, France and Canada at www.worldcat.org/mobile.
WorldCat-related APIs are available to anyone interested in creating noncommercial mash-ups or mobile apps that include library data. Commercial apps like to pic2shop use the WorldCat Search API through partnership agreements.
iPhone users can download the pic2shop app at no cost through Apple’s iTunes app store in their respective counties. The interface is currently available in English, although future translations are likely. A video of how the pic2shop application works with WorldCat data is available on YouTube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHiuaDXipWQ.