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Finding Small Parts Is Easier Than Ever With Amazon AR

Amazon’s app on iOS can use AR capabilities to identify small parts like screws and washers.

If you have ever been in the middle of making, assembling or repairing something and suddenly realised that you are short one crucial, but very small component, you might know what a pain it is to find an exact match for the tiny piece you are missing. The updated Amazon augmented reality (AR) app might be able to help with that.

Amazon have introduced a new function to its iOS app which is called ‘Part Finder’. It uses the camera to let users search for specific small parts like nuts and bolts that you might need to identify.

To use the app, users need to open the Amazon app and tap on the camera next to the search bar. From there, select the part-finder by tapping on the screw icon. Users then need to align the part above a coin and adjust the phone position until it is correctly centred on a white surface, such as a piece of paper.

Once the alignment process is completed, the Amazon app can try and identify the part. To do this, it utilises the AR capabilities built into Apple’s ARKit to measure the depth and width of the part. From there, tiny details such as head style and drive type need to be selected by the user.

Some analysts and reporters, such as The Verge, are warning that it might not be 100% successful, and so for very critical parts it might still be safer to take the component in question to a hardware shop for identification. However, for non-critical use, or for users who can’t get to a hardware store, it might present a valid alternative.

Amazon confirms that part finder currently works for fasteners, which is this case means items such as screws, nuts, bolts and washers, through there are plans for further expansion of the feature. Part Finder currently only works on iOS and there is no word presently on plans for an Android version.

For future coverage on AR apps and services, keep checking back with VRFocus.

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