American chain Target has developed an iOS app called "In a Snap" which allows customers to use photographs to shop online at Target, eliminating the need for bar codes.
Target's app (available for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch) can scan through Target's product range to find similar products as the ones snapped by customers in magazines. Consumers then have the choice to either buy it directly or to save it on a wish list for later.
Target's goal is to lower the barrier to shop online through increased usability and customer convenience. Plenty of customers are deterred by the bar code or the use of a specific link and this app should allow them to scan every product they come across, without any exception.
Amazon introduced a similar app, Firefly, when it launched its newest smartphone. This app is considerably more extensive than Target's app as Firefly will not only browse Amazon's product range, but also general information like Wikipedia.