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Developer builds new Google Glass app to scan barcodes, deliver price comparisons

For months, developers with access to Google Glass have been hard at work cooking up innovative uses for the wearable computer. From Google Glass for law enforcement to tools that allow a user to control an electric car's functions, some of the software being developed is truly cutting-edge.

In terms of practical applications, though, there is one new app that is sure to win a lot of fans, particularly among those who take their shopping excursions seriously. It's called Crystal Shopper, a Google Glass app that lets the wearer scan and price compare products via barcode.

The app emerged from the Breaking Glass hackathon held last weekend in San Francisco. In a video posted by developer Lance Nanek, we see the app scan a barcode on a Google Chromecast dongle and instantly deliver a Google Glass card that displays the product's highest and lowest price offerings, as well as its star review rating on Amazon.

In terms of functionality, it's really as simple as that. But the long-term potential is exciting, particularly for a device that has mostly been lauded for its ability to allow a wearer to engage in hands-free photography and video recording.

"[The app] does a UPC search on the Amazon API, although we're looking for other good product APIs to use or shopping company partners," Nanek wrote on his Google+ page. "Google shopping API is closing down, unfortunately... Meanwhile I'll go try some groceries or something and see what I can do about broader product support."

Although the Crystal Shopper app is referred to as a team project, Nanek himself appears to be one of the most active developers in the Google Glass community. Back in May he showed off another shopping app for the wearable device that allows users to shop Amazon by voice.

Google itself this week patented an eye-tracking technology that would enable it to charge advertisers based on how often their advertisements are viewed.