Creating a home inventory is important tospeed up an insurance claims process and ensure your insurance takes care of what you lost. As reader rtrudelpoints out, Amazon’s mobile app is the perfect tool for your inventorying job.
The iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry versions of Amazon’s mobile app all include a feature called Amazon Remembers that’s the special sauce in using Amazon for a bit of home inventorying. Here’s how Amazon Remembers works:
- You snap a picture of any product.
- The app uploads that picture to Amazon’s servers.
- If it can, Amazon identifies the product and provides a link to it at Amazon Remembers (you have to be logged in). Amazon uses a combination of automated recognition software and real people to identify the items in the pictures you snap.
That’s all there is to it. You can view everything you took a picture of at the Amazon Remembers page here.
The time the service takes to identify your products will vary (it’s excellent at recognizing books), and it won’t necessarily get everything perfectly, but I tested it out this morning on a variety of objects (a thermos, coffee press, decanter, knife block, several books, a microphone), and the results have been nearly perfect. It can recognize UPC barcodes, but it’s remarkably good at figuring anything out based solely on a picture.
The only drawback is that Amazon Remembers doesn’t offer anything in terms of organizing what you’ve just identified. (Honestly, they really should turn this into a full-fledged feature, or at least give it the same functionality that wish lists get.) Even so, you could go on an inventorying spree with Amazon Remembers, then use your Amazon Remembers photos and the identified product names and links to store your inventory in any form of your choosing—many Lifehacker readers prefer a simple spreadsheet.
It’s still faster than looking up the full product names of most of the stuff you own, it comes with the added bonus of a link to a replacement (handy for figuring out the cost to replace your stuff), and you can manually search out anything Amazon can’t identify later.
Other tools, like free webapp iTrackMine or the $40 Delicious Library, both handle UPC barcodes and are definitely impressive tools, but I really like how I don’t need a UPC if I use Amazon Remembers.