If you’ve ever hung out with a bunch of friends who have iPhones you know that the conversation at some point will turn to “what apps do you have?”. I’ve seen it happen in bars and restaurants and I always enjoy it when someone pulls out their phone and demos a fun app they’ve found.

The problem is how can we remember to download that app later, or easily? Sure, you can get the name of the app, search for it and then download it, but that’s pretty inefficient, especially if the app has an obscure name.

One app called eyeconit, wants to solve that in a similar way to how Shazam helps you discover the music you hear wherever you are. Instead of doing it through scanning sound, eyeconit will scan the app’s icon using your camera and then find the match for you to download. It’s super handy and works really well.

Point and scan

Just by pointing your camera at an app on your friends phone, newspaper or magazine, or even a computer screen, eyeconit will use its scanning technology to find a suitable match for you on Apple’s app store. It’s the first of its kind, and I’m digging it so far, even though it has a few missing features.

photo 131 Eyeconit for iOS lets you scan app icons in the real world to get them for yourself photo 241 520x780 Eyeconit for iOS lets you scan app icons in the real world to get them for yourself

If eyeconit can’t tell which app you’ve scanned, it may ask you to crop the photo that it took as reference, or scan the icon all over again. The company says it’s refining its technology and that matches should become more likely as its database of scanned icons grow.

Along with finding direct matches, eyeconit will returns results with similar icons and functionality based on the app you’re looking for. It’s a cool way to bring app discovery out of iTunes and into the physical world.

The missing feature that really should be added as soon as possible is a history of all of the icons that you’ve scanned. For me, that’s the strength of Shazam. I can scan tunes all day long and then look at a history later and interact with it. The problem with eyeconit is as soon as it finds a match for you, your only option is to download the app or share it on Facebook or Twitter. I’d much rather have a favorite or save feature for future viewing.

That fact aside, the technology is impressive and it’s a great way to get new apps onto your iPhone with ease. Give it a shot and let us know what you think in the comments!

eyeconit for iOS