Pushpins, a company based in Menlo Park, California, has built a web service for mobile, web, and POS (point of sale) developers to access rich product information for over 125,000 products commonly found in the grocery store." The service is called SimpleUPC and the information is available for monthly fees ranging from $99 to$499.
The database can be queried by UPC code (barcode),brand, product name or manufacturer and also has high quality images designed for superior performance over the Internet or mobile devices.
Interestingly, the UPC data compiled by Pushpins also includes nutrition information like calories ,fat, carbs, protein, ingredients and warnings.
A couple uses that immediately came to my mind for the SimpleUPC service, include a mobile app for people with food allergies – being able to scan the UPC barcodes on items on your cellphone as you shop and have the app check the ingredients for problems would be really useful. Also an application for triathletes or others who may be training aggressively and seeking to carefully tailor their diet for that perfect daily mix of calories from carbs, fat and protein. These users could scan the UPC barcode on the items in their grocery basket and adjust their purchases instantly to ensure proper nutrition.
The possibilities are enormous. Having images in the UPC database makes it valuable for any Internet shopping service, or online ordering website.
There is a free trial available of the SimpleUPC service at the company website.
The combination of UPC data and nutrition information seems like something that should have been a no-brainer for the barcode world, but this is the first service of its type that we've seen. In speaking with Jason Gurwin, CEO, he explained that Pushpins, while developing a mobile couponing app, was unable to find a UPC database like the one they now provide. The few options for UPC data were either too expensive – over $100,000 per year, or very incomplete – not providing nutritional data or images. Being the entrepreneurial types, Jason and his partners proceeded to build the tools they needed.
This type of service will benefit all kinds of other service providers and through them,millions of consumers. It represents exactly the type of innovation and ingenuity the barcode industry needs.
For more information visit the website at www.simpleupc.com
Written by Craig Aberle