Most of my cell phone app ideas I am keeping a secret until we get a non-disclosure agreement and funding, but this one I am posting on the internet. Please note the creative commons license associated with this information (and all content here at ideas and writings).
We need a made in the USA cell phone app. If we could take a picture with our camera phone of the bar code of things we buy to learn about how much of the product is made in the US, if any, people could make better informed purchasing decisions.
Maybe we should also be able to text the bare code and get info texted back, similar to google’s text information service. Maybe it should also work with a mobile browser. I’d like to get info about products when I purchase them to see if they are made in the USA, or if portions of the product are. I think there is a lot of confusion about what products are actually American made and from American owned companies for that matter.
I am not sure if our “American” car companies are even owned my Americans, or how much of them are. I am not sure how much of a given car is made in the USA and how much of it is imported. There are many brands that were once American made that are now being outsourced to Mexico and other places around the world, and people need to know. For years fluidmaster was a trusted brand name that had American owners and American workers created these important parts for toilets, but recently I learned (when a good friend was laid off) – that the new owners have outsourced most(?) of the parts making to Mexico and have moved shipping to cheaper places as well.
In this economy and with jobs being so important to our American economy, I believe people are genuinely interested in knowing more about the product and services they buy, and where the money is going when we buy them. I think a lot of us would be surprised to learn this information, but we really need a better way to find it! A cell phone app is perfect for this.
I would love to see QR codes being used along with bar codes to learn about a product, and it’s company. Who owns that company, where is the product made?
I imagine this could be funded with links to “find this item you are inquiring about on Ebay and Amazon”, etc.
It would be awesome to have a one click – tweet about the info you found out about this product – share with your friends that the fluidmaster part your plumber is replacing with another fluidmaster part is not made in the USA, etc.
Links to company info, and have people able to add additional information about products would be great to.
This idea is still in it’s development phase, I’m sure it can be made better, but I just thought of it today – it will take some time refine it. If you’d like to help, feel free to add comments, or send me an email – perhaps we can develop and market it together.
There is a web site I read about that let’s you type in information to get info about what is made in the USA – not sure if there is a mobile version, or if it would work on a cell phone browser. I am also not sure how complete their database is. Either, but if someone finds this post looking for the info – you may want to check there:
The cellphone application may need to be a wiki so people can add information, (moderated of course) – so we can all develop this info together.
Isn’t there some kind of certification, like ASO something or another for products that are 100% made in America? I can’t think of it right now with all this other code and ideas floating through my head.
Please note / disclaimer – information here about Fluidmaster, and any other company please realize I am not 100% sure of. I have just heard these things, and am using some company names to post examples. If I am wrong, please comment here and I will update.
Update 04-2011: I have really enjoyed seeing more web site popping up that offer information about made in America products. I have not had the time to check them all out to see how they are doing thing, and how accurate they are or are not. I am also really happy to see that world news is doing several stories about finding products that are made in America.
I have also responded to some of the comments below. I look forward to seeing this come about.