CamFind App Review: Use it or Lose it?Posted on October 20, 2015 by
“One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.” ~ Elbert Hubbard
Camfind is a new app that makes some big promises. It claims to be able to identify literally anything just by snapping a picture. I was quite skeptical since my past experience with Google Goggles left me hoping for more accuracy. But from object to QR codes, Camfind is far better than Google’s long forgotten product.
I used Google Goggles way back in 2010, but it has never been updated, so I haven’t touched it since. But I was intrigued by Camfind just because of the application to real estate needs. It could be a great way to identify a specific style of house, if you are looking to replace hardware in the home, perhaps a specific door knob, this has the potential to be very useful in this field.
How it Works
CamFind states that this app is able to differentiate between physical objects like a chair or a poster, even black and white data codes like QR matrix barcodes. The user interface is pretty simple. Very easy to navigate. The app appears to be similar to a generic camera app. The lower part of the screen has only three buttons. There is a history button where you can view your catalog of past searches, a shutter button to take the photo of the product you want to identify, and a menu button that expands to reveal a short selection of options. As a user, you can initiate a voice search, change languages and open the ‘about’ page.
The ease of use is very fascinating. It’s as plain as snapping a pic in your Camera app. But after the photo is taken, that’s where the magic happens. CamFind uploads the image and begins a search immediately. This is where the user can find some things left to be desired. Some items take a long time to identify in this app. I even checked my Wi-Fi network and there were no problems there. Some items I tried took so long that the app would time out and I’d have no choice but to begin again.
But when it works it gives the user many options. Swipe over the screen to show some of the choices. Either delete the image, label the search for future use, share the information you’ve received, or enable the app to speak results. Tap the results and it will compare prices, businesses related to the item, photos of related images, links around the web about the product, even Yelp reviews.
What Actually Happened
I downloaded the app for free from the Apple Store, so no need to buy anything. It seems to be very accurate as far as objects go, but if you take a photo of a barcode it will not identify that product. It simply says, “barcode”. It’s not wrong, but I was hoping for it to give me more details like where to buy or even the manufacturer information.
I snapped a picture of a lighting fixture in a house, maybe circa the 1920s. I got some really valuable information about the style and the materials. But not about where to purchase or who the maker was. It was enough data for me to get on the web and do some local searches on my own.
Some items I took photos of were very accurate in the data they gave me. Objects like a camera lens were easy for the app to identify and gave me more details about where to buy it than the old lighting fixture I tried earlier. I think this would work best with newer objects like, for example, a pendant light or a product with a QR code on the package. If you have the packaging from an item you are hoping to find, I think that’s your best bet in using this app.