RedLaser iPhone app adds library listings through WorldCat APIs

RedLaser iconWelcome to one of the newest WorldCat partners, Occipital. They're the developers behind the latest mobile app to use WorldCat data, RedLaser. Official news release about it. The RedLaser app is cool because it uses the camera feature on your iPhone to scan a book's barcode and find results for libraries who hold it nearby. I love it because it presents libraries alongside commercial options for finding materials--reminding cost-conscious consumers that the library has the book they're looking for. Plus we're not asking people to do anything different from what they already do--use RedLaser to comparison shop. It puts libraries into their already established habits, rather than trying to get them to form new ones. RedLaser uses the WorldCat Search API and  WorldCat Registry APIs to deliver library listings. Luckily some of the recent work done to improve the API speed is already paying off. At only US$ 1.99, why not try it? RedLaser joins existing mobile apps that use WorldCat APIs, notably the WorldCat Mobile pilot and Compare Everywhere. The WorldCat Mobile pilot is available for all Web-enabled phones in the UK, US, Netherlands, Germany, France and Canada--including the new Nexus One. It's a downloadable app if your phone supports them, or a sreamlined browser version if it doesn't. Compare Everywhere is similar to RedLaser, in that it's a comparison shopping app. It's specifically for Android and also includes libraries in result sets for books, videos, music, etc. You might recall that Compare Everywhere was a winner in the Google Android Developer contest of December 2008. Apps such as RedLaser, Compare Everywhere and the WorldCat Mobile pilot offer yet another way to connect users with libraries, and for libraries to benefit from worldwide cooperation. What new mobile apps can you think of to build, that use WorldCat data through the WorldCat APIs and OCLC Web Services? For now, watch the YouTube video to see what it looks like, and then go find an iPhone and try RedLaser. (Hint: if it's less than optimal, you might need to update your institution's WorldCat Registry profile!)

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