Friday, November 25, 2011

Fun App Gets Me in Trouble

The other day I found a fun App for my iPhone...actually, it was a little too much fun, for me anyway. Let me explain...

The App is called RedLaser. It is a barcode scanner/reader and its free.

Here's how it works...Simply point your smartphone camera at a product's barcode label and RedLaser captures the product information, then makes a beeping sound just like the one at a store's checkout counter. After RedLaser reads the barcode label, it displays the price, manufacturer, reviews and price of the product at competing stores.

As I said...its a fun App, BUT...

Last Tuesday my wife and I went food shopping for Thanksgiving. I hate stores and I hate shopping, usually. But I must admit, I was excited to go that day...Why?, because I wanted to try out RedLaser.

As I entered the store I immediately showed my wife my new product scanner App. "Watch this", I said as I picked up a loaf of bread, aimed the camera and RedLaser read the code. "See, see it says the product is bread and its cost $2.50 and you can buy it in XYZ store for $2.40". My wife snapped back "Yeah, I can tell its bread by looking at it and we are not in XYZ store".

As we strolled the aisles I purposefully drifted away from her so I could give RedLaser a good test ride.

I picked up a bag of potato chips...pointed, scanned, and heard my phone beep, potato chips $2.99, XYZ store price $2.79. My wife caught up with me. "What are you doing?" she asked. "Just scanning this item", I told her. "Put that away. You can hear that stupid beep all over the store".

I didn't put it away...I moved a few aisles away from her and... beeeep, scanned a can of peas. I saw a customer turn and look at me. I didn't care. Beeeep, I scanned a six pack of English Muffins; Beeeep, a dozen eggs; Beeeep, a bag of carrots. Then another customer gave me a smirky stare. Beeeep, who cares, beeeep, I love this App, beeeep, more stares... beeeep, beeeep.

I got tired of the dirty looks, so I found a quiet area in the frozen food section. I picked up a turkey, aimed and beeeep. I tried beeeep. What the heck? The barcode label was on the rounded part of the breast so RedLaser was having trouble reading it.

Determined, I turned the turkey on its side, aimed, pointed...still no beeeep. I stood it upright, aimed, pointed... again no beeeep. In frustration my attention turned away from the stubborn, frozen turkey. It was then I noticed a store manager with his hands on his hips eyeballing me. He began walking toward me. Quickly, I gave the turkey one last try, aim, point, success!...beeeep rang out of my phone. The manager moved faster.

Just then my wife appeared out of nowhere..."give me that phone before you get thrown out of the store", she says as she grabbed it from my hand. The manager stopped dead in his tracks. I glanced at him and sheepishly muttered I followed behind my wife like a naughty schoolboy.

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