Digital Innovation Continues Apace

Totally hot new service offering: Amabuddy. (“Don’t buy not knowing.”)

You are in a bookshop or a record shop. You found something that interests you.You can’t decide whether to buy it now or later online. What you need is a price check and a quick review, perhaps some ideas of something similar that others might recommend. Amabuddy can help!

What is Amabuddy? You dial a number that allows you to then enter a book’s ISBN number or a CD’s UPC number. Amabuddy then runs to the Amazon site and gets the various prices (including those from small independent sellers) and average customer review. It then speaks it into your ear. Better still it recommends what else might interest you so you can browse other items whilst in the store. Also you can bookmark books so that you can come back and make sure you want them.

There is a weblog that supports the service. Amazingly, they say they have a prototype SMS service working that will return text to your SMS-enabled cellphone. (But this costs real money, and they’d need a sponsor.)
Built with VXML, Python, MySQL, Apache and Amazon API.
Think about it. Two guys built this fantastic service in a few days. It has the potential to completely change the retail shopping experience. For example, they say:

What else? If we can convince someone like Amazon or someone else who has a large database of clips of music, you could listen to clips from music albums whilst your in a record store that doesn’t have listening facilities. With 3G you could do the same with Video/DVD as well.

Whatever will they think of next?!