Amazon's new feature on mobile could save SMBs, contractors, and mechanics a lot of headaches when it comes to finding and ordering the right part. If you're unable to identify a screw, bolt, or the like, Amazon Part Finder allows you to point your camera at the piece to scan and measure it, before pointing you in the direction of products that match.
Amazon confirmed to TechCrunch that the new Part Finder feature wasn't formally announced but was rolled out to iOS users several weeks ago.
The feature shouldn't be confused with similar augmented reality (AR) features iOS is set to offer through its ARKit. Part Finder will utilize computer vision technology, according to the TechCrunch report.
This technology, according to the report, was originally developed by Partpic, a company Amazon bought in 2016.
The report noted that the feature currently can identify over 100 types of fasteners, representing thousands—if not millions—of parts.
Users can access the feature on the Amazon app by tapping on a camera icon next to the search box. From there, the app will guide users through the process of measuring the part.
Users place the object on a white background next to a penny. Once it has been measured, users are prompted to answer more questions about the physical description of the object, to better identify the piece, as noted in the report.
This feature can prove beneficial to smaller contractors, mechanics, and SMBs who may not have a wider and more organized inventory system, or that may need to use Amazon for small-scale ordering. Part Finder also illustrates how artificial intelligence (AI) tools like computer vision, and technologies like AR, will further change the retail experience for consumers and enterprises alike.
The big takeaways for tech leaders:
- SMBs can better their inventory systems by utilizing Amazon's new Part Finder feature to quickly identify and order the parts they need.
- Amazon implementation of computer vision can shows how retail and inventory systems will embrace technologies such as AR and AI.
- Special report: Data, AI, IoT: The future of retail (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
- 10 vendors enabling digital transformation in retail (ZDNet)
- Brick and mortar retail digital transformation is powered by mobile device data (TechRepublic)
- 10 technologies leading digital transformation in retail (ZDNet)
- Sensor-driven shelving could help SMBs automate their inventory processes (TechRepublic)
Laurel Deppen is a student at Western Kentucky University.