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Big in Japan getting bigger by the minute

Big in Japan makers of the world famous Shop Savvy Barcode Scanner app have already outgrown their offices at the Infomart center in Dallas Texas. Weren’t we disappointed to find out that the Incredible Hulk was guarding the Shop Savvy Data Center and not in the front of the lobby of their makeshift temporary offices being utilized while Big’s new digs are under construction.
What was meant to be a short quick visit turned into a great hour long conversation with Big in Japan’s Tech Shogun, Ryland Barnes, creator of Shop Savvy for Android.
For those of you that haven’t explored the Android Market or are living under the preverbial Rock, Shop Savvy is an awesome Barcode Scanner app that allows you to scan the barcode of almost anything and search the internet for online pricing, local pricing and information about the code. Take a dvd for instance and place your Android devices camera over the barcode, it quickly checks the barcode. Once Shop Savvy captures the barcode it quickly does a number of things:

– It checks online pricing and gives you the best online prices of the item
– It checks local pricing and finds you the best local price of the item
– On some partner stores in local results it tells you if the product is in stock

Some of the features in development include:
– Push updates on products- if the user wants to they can select to have best pricing information pushed to their Android device. For example say you are looking for the movie avatar, if the pricing changes Shop Savvy can then push the new price info to you in a twitter like stream.
– Click to pay- this feature allows you to find the best price and then click to buy that item using either paypal or a major credit card. Fulfillment can be either online and shipped to your home or off-line and picked up at the store. Imagine being at target and best buy has the same price for less, if Target won’t price match it, click to pay, buy the item and by the time you drive over to Best Buy, voila it’s at customer purchase pick up.
– “Price Match Policies” found a great price and you don’t want to go to another store, you can quickly use this feature to read the price match policy of the store your at and hopefully use the best price you found and not have to go anywhere.


Shop Savvy was developed by Barnes as a project while attending Texas A&M;, originally developed on Symbian at the time Barnes realized that not many people had data plans and the cameras weren’t quite ready for barcode scanning. When Android was announced in November of 2007 and the developers kit came out Barnes took the idea off the shelf and implemented it into the app that has evolved into what it is today. Shop Savvy was one of the first apps in the Android Market and won the 2008 developer’s challenge.
One of the things that has made Barnes so succesful in the Android Space is how tuned in he tries to stay to the users of the app, he drilled Android Swag’s Aaron Katsen and myself for about an hour figuring out how we like to use Shop Savvy and said that every user matters because for every user theres 100 more that use the application in the same way.
Barnes and the entire Big In Japan team are striving to become the best looking and most functional app available on the platform.
Be sure to check out Shop Savvy in the Android Market

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