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RedLaser takes on local deals

Published on | By Miles Skorpen

We released an amazing new version of RedLaser for iOS this past Tuesday, and the media has taken notice, from TechCrunch and Appolicious (which reports “If you like saving money when shopping, RedLaser can help you do it”), to industry publications like Marketing Pilgrim and  Internet Retailer.

So what is so impressive about the newest version of RedLaser? For the first time, we’ve taken our local shopping experience and turned it from a search tool — where can you buy certain products — into a powerful local browsing engine, highlighting the best deals and stores around you. New features include in-store deals (carefully selected to be easy to use), store maps, and store circulars. This means you don’t have to wait for circulars or packets of coupons to show up in your mail: instead, just fire up RedLaser. 

MapTabTo access this powerful new functionality, just tap the new deals tab in the menu bar at the bottom of every screen. A map pops up, showing all the major retailers that have stores around you. Over fifty merchants (coverings tens of thousands of stores) are in RedLaser today, and this number is growing fast.

Just imagine using this feature at a mall: within seconds, you can target your shopping trip to your favorite stores with the steepest discounts, or even check to make sure the products you need are in stock.

2013-04-11 09.51.48Select the store you’re interested in, and you’ll get a huge menu of options.

Instead of hunting through aisles, just type in the name of the product you’re looking for, and all the locations appear on the store map. In the image to the left, we’ve found where Diet Coke is sold in our local Walgreens, for example. With another two taps, we’d see that 12-packs of soda were heavily on sale too!

You read more about the new release on the eBay blog or  see the full fact sheet. Then,  find RedLaser on Apple iTunes app store now, and we’re anxious to hear what you think. Give it a whirl!


RedLaser scans PDF417: Drivers licenses, IDs, and more!

Published on | By Miles Skorpen



The RedLaser iOS SDK version 3.4 has an exciting new feature: PDF417 scanning.

PDF417 is a stacked linear 2D barcode, which means it is a cross between a standard 1D barcode (like the well-known UPC) and the most famous 2D barcode type, the QR code. They’re popular for use in areas which sit at the line between industry and consumer usage: unlike QR codes, PDF417 codes are typically read with industrial linear barcode scanners, and they’re used for US postage, airplane tickets, and FedEx tracking labels.

Most importantly, at least for our US users, the PDF417 is the only barcode type approved by the Department of Homeland Security for  RealID-compliant drivers licenses. This is, in part, because a PDF417 barcode can store a lot of information: almost everything on the front of a driver’s license is stored in the barcode.

This means that you can integrate barcode scanning into user registration or shipping flows to increase conversion and avoid user mistakes! Imagine: One scan, and the user’s address is filled in. Or scan, and their birthday, name, and contact information is added to your registration form.

The barcode format is pretty easy. In South Carolina, for example, the data contained in the code looks like this:



From this data, you can gather a name (Driver Credential Sample), address (1500 Park St, Columbia, SC 29201), height (6′ 00″), weight (200lb), and birthday (09/28/1978). Dedicated scanners to get this data can cost over $1,000 per device, so using the RedLaser SDK makes a scanning drivers licenses cheap, in addition to easy.

Get RedLaser now, to start scanning drivers licenses!


RedLaser and the Redlands Police Department

Published on | By Miles Skorpen

Apple worked with the Redlands Police Department to study how their devices and applications helped the police force. One of the highlighted apps was RedLaser!

Apple reports that Detective Leslie Martinez uses RedLaser to help with big cases. When Martinez cracks a case and finds lots of stolen merchandise, one of the biggest challenges is finding where the merchandise might have come from. By using RedLaser, Martinez is able to quickly build a list of local and online retailers who sell the products, and might have more information about the case.

Just jump to 1:20 in the video to see RedLaser in action.


RedLaser in action: Goodreads

Published on | By Miles Skorpen

We picked Redlaser because it provides fast and accurate scanning.
-otis y. chandler, ceo and founder of goodreads

Goodreads is the largest site for readers and book recommendations in the world. With 8.5 million members, 300+ million books, it has a long history of helping devoted readers across the world to find new books, and share the books they love.

Mobile is part of the company’s DNA. Goodreads hit the iPhone in 2010, recognizing that mobile would be an area of growing importance — their members wanted to bring their book ratings into stores, libraries, and friend’s homes to help guide buying, sharing, and reading decisions. You can get the Goodreads mobile app here.

The Goodreads app didn’t start with a barcode scanner. At first, it was focused on bringing reviews and recommendation into their member’s pockets. But Goodreads had ambitions beyond a read-only experience.

Why have a scanner?

“We wanted to give Goodreads members a way to look up more information about books while on the go, especially when at bookstores and libraries,” explains Chandler.

Scanning media, like books, is one of the oldest, and easiest, users for barcodes scanners. This is because most books have unique barcodes (ISBNs), and because there are a number of providers of media data, notably Google and Amazon. Goodreads, however, was more ambitious. They didn’t just want to identify books, they wanted to link their entire reviews and cataloging system into the operation too.

Why RedLaser?

Since any scanner can read ISBN numbers, Goodreads had a number of options to choose from. They wanted a simple, fast, and accurate scanner. RedLaser was the best scanning SDK they found.

“Scanning was one of our most requested features,” says Chandler. “We knew we needed to get it right. So we picked RedLaser, because it is consistently fast and accurate.”

Goodreads makes use of RedLaser’s flexible scan screen layout options to improve the multi-scan experience by displaying book title, author, and rating information in the scan screen.

What is the impact of RedLaser on the Goodreads mobile experience?

RedLaser has become a central part of the Goodreads mobile experience. The app is seeing over 200,000 scans every month, with about 2/3 from people cataloging their own book collection, and 1/3 from book look-ups. And scanning is accelerating — scans are up nearly 50% from last year!

Cataloging is where RedLaser has been particularly transformative. Before adding a scanner, Goodread users would have to manually type in the title of each book and decide the specific edition they had in their collection. This could be a serious challenge, since many Goodreads users have hundreds or thousands of books! With RedLaser, adding large batches of books is a much simpler and easier experience.

“For our members, it’s a fun and popular feature,” says Chandler. “It’s making it even easier to find your next favorite book.”

Get RedLaser!

You can join GoodReads, and hundreds of other companies, in integrating RedLaser into your application. Our developer portal has a simple form which can get you developing today. Alternatively, get in touch with our team to learn more.