Amazon Part Finder feature on iOS app in the US

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Amazon have rolled out what sounds a fantastic addition to their mobile app on Apple iOS in the US – an Amazon Part Finder utility which enables you to photograph items such as screws, bolts, washers and fixings and find the correct part on Amazon.

Mostly, if you have an odd screw that needs replacing, it’s difficult to identify the thread type and length of screw visually, so Amazon are enabling consumers to take a photograph of the part, alongside a penny (1 cent coin) and they’ll identify it for you. Amazon say that the feature can identify hundreds of different fastener types which with size differences map to millions of different discrete parts.

The technology comes from Amazon’s acquisition of a company called Partpic which became a part of the Amazon family back in 2016.

You’ll find the Amazon Part Finder in the iOS app by clicking the camera icon and then it’s alongside features such as the bar code scanner, Smilecode scanner and image recognition options.

This use of vision technology is interesting but not currently without it’s flaws. Sometimes it doesn’t appear to measure the length of a screw accurately and the app will still want you to select from options such as the type of screw head or whether it’s a split washer or o-ring. We’ve not got access to the feature here at Tamebay so we’re can’t say whether it’s accurate enough to determine the thread type of a screw or bolt.

If Amazon can nail down their vision technology well enough to fully identify fixings then this would be a superb addition to their app. If all it can do is identify that you’re looking for a screw, then you’ll end up none the wiser as to which part to buy as you could have simply typed in a search for screws a lot faster than taking a photograph.

As with all new features, it’s likely that Amazon will improve this feature and over time it’ll become ever more accurate. Currently there is no news as to when it will roll out internationally or when it’ll become available on Android devices.

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