We finally fixed the bug in the barcode decoder engine. It is now working again.
GuruLib allows adding titles to their wish list using cellphone. This only works if you have one of those cellphones with built in camera and some sort of picture message sending plans. From our existing T-mobile plan we could send 3000 SMS messages in a month for just 5$.
The motivation for this new mobile functionality was to help add titles to the wish list quickly. Assume that you are enjoying a wonderful sunny day exploring an outdoor book expo and you happen to see a book, DVD or a CD that you absolutely want but would like to wait till the price is right. You could now flip open your cellphone, take a picture of the barcode from the cover and send that barcode picture as a picture message from your cellphone to email@example.com. GuruLib will then decode the barcode from the image and then add that to your wish list. If you would like to check the status of the decoding process, you could login to your GuruLib account when you get an access to an internet enabled computer and then navigate to the Camera tab of your Add Items page.
Before you get all excited we would like to mention that this functionality is still under testing and we need your help in improving it. We would greatly appreciate if anyone could test this functionality and send us some feedbacks. One of our main problem has been with the barcode decoding engine. It is very picky about the quality of the picture. As always when you are taking the picture, make sure that the barcode lines are clearly visible and the lighting is not that bad.
In case if you would like to test the feature follow the sequence of steps mentioned below to associate your cellphone number with your GuruLib account. This is just a one time setting.
- Login in to your GuruLib account
- Navigate to My Settings page
- Just below the zip code field on the settings page you will see a cellphone field. Click on the link which opens a small box with a 10 digit code.
- From your cellphone create a picture message with the subject as the above 10 digit code. Please make sure that this picture message only has the subject no body or any picture attachment. Send the picture message to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Once GuruLib receives the above message it will change the message at the cellphone field to the associated cellphone number. Now you can start sending barcode images to email@example.com from your cellphone
- Titles added through the cellphone are added to your Wish List shelf
As mentioned earlier, the above steps only need to be done once. Once GuruLib knows the cellphone number that you will use to send barcode pictures, GuruLib can automatically add the titles to your wish list account. You could also modify or delete the cellphone assignment from the My Settings page.
UPDATE: We have developed a real time webcam barcode reader using Flash. You can read about the blog and watch a demo Video here