I started to do a just bit of web research in this. Open source barcode 
photo recognition software looks like it's _just_ starting to become 
realistically available. This was the product that looked most 
promissing in my web research (not sure if it's what the Android app is 

My Umlaut software would be an _ideal_ end-point of barcode recognition, 
is why I started to look into it. Umlaut is designed specifically to 
meet the goal of taking a known item citation (such as an ISBN, sure), 
and returning a range of library availability and services for that 

The next step, which I haven't figured out yet, is how to get your 
software to participate in MMS/SMS architecture -- in particular to 
receive MMS/SMS messages in a way that's affordable to you and 
convenient to your users. (It looks like some but not all cell phones 
can send MMS messages to email, but not necessarily as conveniently as 
sending MMS to a cell number; but I'm not sure if there's a cheap way to 
have software receive MMS messages at a cell number. The Android app of 
course performs all it's processing on the Android itself, which you can 
do on a device-by-device basis for devices powerful enough for that; but 
I too am attracted to the idea of an MMS solution that would work on any 
MMS capable device, with no need to customize per device).

I also haven't actually looked at the zxing code yet.

But I'd love to have Umlaut able to receive an MMS message, and give the 
user back a concise list of library services/links. So many interesting 
projects, not enough time.


Matt Amory wrote:
> I'm interested in some advice on building an app to pickup barcode data
> through a cell phone camera and return OPAC/Library Thing/WorldCat etc.
> results to a mobile interface.
> I know that Android has a UPC barcode reader linked to a shopping app, and
> I'm wondering if this can be used or repurposed, or if there's a better
> place to begin.
> Thanks!