We know there is a huge demand for the ShopSavvy experience on the iPhone and we have been working on an iPhone release for some time. Our biggest hurdle has been to perfect barcode scanning using a fixed focal length camera. We are very close to finalizing our solution called Meatloaf. We looked at various ‘server-side’ options – i.e. taking a photo, sending it to our servers here in Dallas and then sending the results back to the phone – but we determined that the ‘live’ scanning that our Android users are accustom to was the right direction. We had to come up with a solution that was 100% accurate and FAST – we call the project Meatloaf.
Many of you have surmized (via email and even on TechCrunch) that we will be able to launch on the iPhone 3Gs since it has a variable focal length camera (10cm). While our current solution would work fine on all of the new iPhones it would leave the 40,000,000 existing devices (Apple’s number, not mine) without a solution. Meatloaf; however, will work on both fixed and variable focus cameras – 100% coverage on all current and legacy devices.
Meatloaf will be even more important on Android because, as some of you likely noted, more and more Android handsets will ship with fixed focal length cameras. For example, AT&T is launching an Android phone called the HTC Lancaster which sports a ’2 mega-pixel fixed focus camera’. Ouch. Any Android application that relies on the ‘traditional’ camera we have come to know and love on the G1 and Magic will be DOA on the AT&T devices. AT&T is the second-largest mobile provider in the US and the largest smartphone provider – your Android app needs to work on their phones, period.
Along with an updated solution for barcode scanning, the iPhone version of ShopSavvy will get a complete UI makeover. Smartphones are not equal and they each have strengths and weaknesses. Porting ShopSavvy over from Android would leave a lot to be desired so we spent a LOT of time making sure that ShopSavvy took advantage of all of the iPhone features and UI users have come to know and love. ShopSavvy is still ShopSavvy, but it is optimized for iPhone. Make sense? Here is a screenshot to give you an idea: