RedLaser, a barcode scanner app, can’t find a price

Aug 29, 2009
Tech

After nearly a dozen attempts at scanning something and waiting in joyous anticipation for that “technology!” moment, RedLaser let me down every single time. RedLaser is barcode scanning app that turns your iPhone into a scanner. It is intended to be used at the grocery store or any retail outlet where, when the scan is […]

After nearly a dozen attempts at scanning something and waiting in joyous anticipation for that “technology!” moment, RedLaser let me down every single time.

RedLaser is barcode scanning app that turns your iPhone into a scanner. It is intended to be used at the grocery store or any retail outlet where, when the scan is recorded, you can check prices from other stores. Or you can e-mail such information to a friend, if you want.

In my initial run, like any excited app user, I began scanning anything in my apartment with a barcode. How about that book? How about the ketchup? Nothing. I tried a couple of items at Wal-Mart. Nothing. In a third attempt on a third day, sheepishly wondering, “operator error?” I yet again came up dry on three not-tried-before items.

The camera function is frustrating.  Pictures come out blurry and illegible. The ones that do process show numbers that don’t match the ones on the item in front of you. Almost on bright side, if RedLaser can’t recognize your shaky, blurry pic, it will prompt you to try again or to type in the barcode’s numbers. Of course, even when I did, my product was not found.

I don’t think I’m the worst barcode scanner in the history of the world, which, I suppose, is possible. But even if I am, RedLaser is still incredibly user-unfriendly.

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Tiesha Miller


Tiesha Miller is a Chicago-based writer/editor who's earned her stripes working on daily newspapers, city magazines and keeping the faith as a Kansas City Royals fan.

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