Target ‘In A Snap’ App Let’s Users Scan Magazines For Products And Add Them To Online Shopping Carts

The way we shop 20 years from now might be drastically different than the way it's done today. Heck, the same could be said about next week, let alone two decades in the future. We're seeing some interesting things as stores and vendors figure out the best way to tap into mobile devices, including apps like the one Target just rolled out to iTunes that can recognizes products without having to scan for a barcode.

Target's free app is called "In a Snap" and it's available now for the iPhone. With it, smartphone owners can scan magazine ads with their handset's built-in camera. Beginning this month, the app will recognize images for Target's Room Essentials products in 10 home decor magazines including Architectural Digest, Domino, and Real Simple, CBS reports.

Target In a Snap app

What's really taking place here is an evolution in mobile scanning. Since the advent of the smartphone and accompanying apps, we've been able to scan QSR codes and UPC symbols, but being able to recognize images and then make purchases based on that recognition is a functionality that's just now starting to emerge as a mainstream feature.

Target's app is similar to Amazon's recently announced Firefly service. Firefly will launch this week alongside Amazon's Fire phone, and the advantage it has is that it can recognize 100 million items right off the bat. By comparison, Target's app is limited to products in ads.

If you own an iPhone and want to give the app a try, you can download it now for free.