Have you ever had a take that trip to the home improvement store to make the desperate search for an odd sized part? Thanks to Amazon, that painful process just got a little easier. First spotted by TechCrunch, Part Finder helps anyone with an iPhone find those odd parts.
The Part Finder isn’t a separate app, but rather a feature quietly added to the Amazon app. To access Part Finder, open the Amazon app, select the camera icon, then tap the bottom of the screen and select “Part Finder”.
The app needs to understand the size of the item it’s scanning, so it suggests placing a penny next to the item while it is on a white background, like a piece of paper. You then point your phone camera at the item. Amazon scans it and finds the part. Once found, the app asks for additional information — screw type, head style, and drive type: Phillips, flathead, etc. — then directs you to matching parts in its catalog.
The app is still a work in progress, but can currently able to identify and match around 100 types of Screws, bolts, and nuts (which can total millions of part in Amazon’s catalog), saving you the time spent searching g the local hardware store for an obscure part.
The app was built in part with technology from the company Partpic that Amazon acquired back in 2016.
As of this writing, Part Finder is available only on iOS.