fbFund Review: Pongr

Even though lower gas prices may give your wallet a little more wiggle room, there’s still an outstanding need to pinch a few pennies here and there! With all the price comparison tools on the web, there’s certainly plenty of help available, but what about when you’re actually at the store? Pongr is one of the finalists in round 1 of the fbFund competition, and it lets you do your price comparisons while you’re out shopping. How? With bar codes.

I know what you’re thinking. Aren’t there existing apps that take photos of bar codes in order to give you more information on a product? There are, and they’ve been slower to adopt in the US versus countries like Japan, due to the lack of standardized and inclusively distributed software on mobile phones. But Pongr gets around such constrictions by offering a number of options for submitting information about a product. Instead of taking a photo of the bar code, you can provide the UPC number and send it to Pongr via text message or email.

If all that typing takes too long, there is the option of taking a photo of the product itself (not the bar code), and Pongr will recognize the product and offer price comparison and store location stats based on the photographic information. This, of course, requires a software download for your mobile phone. So far, Pongr has a mobile app for the iPhone, which can be found in the Apple App Store. BlackBerry and Android versions of the Pongr software are currently in development.

Yeah, I know what you’re thinking now. What’s this have to do with Facebook? Well, the items you compare on Pongr will be saved to your Pongr account’s “shopping bag” and synced to your phone and your Facebook account. From there, you can share items you’re interested in, and see the items your friends are interested in as well. Obvious next steps would be a recommendation engine within the Facebook application. But given the additional geographic data that Pongr is collecting from price comparison shoppers, its recommendation engine could be more detailed and relevant to shoppers within and outside of Facebook.

Click here to vote for Pongr.