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Amazon’s Part Finder tool can help you identify nuts and bolts
Amazon rolled out a new image recognition feature in its app.
Unless hardware repair is your profession or serious hobby, chances are you’re unlikely to know the exact name, size, or type of a particular nut or bolt you’ve got on hand. And if, say, you’re assembling some furniture and realize you’ve misplaced a screw or two, that can be problematic. Luckily, Amazon has a new tool to save the day. It’s called Part Finder.
Amazon’s Part Finder is a feature that was recently added to the Amazon shopping app on iOS, TechCrunch reports. The app can identify more than 100 different types of fasteners, which translate to millions of different product SKUs, so you can find the exact bolt, nut, or screw that you need more of.
To start using the feature, tap the camera next to the search box in the Amazon app.
Part Finder is a bit more finicky than Amazon’s typical mobile image recognition capabilities. Amazon walks you through the instructions: To start, you need to place the part against a white background. You then need to place a penny next to it, so that Amazon’s image recognition technology can gauge its size. Amazon then directs you to place the camera directly overhead of the item—an onscreen crosshairs guides you to the exact correct position, and then you can snap.
From there, when TechCrunch tested out the feature, the app asked for more details about the product (in this case, a screw). It offered images you could select of a self drilling drilling screw, a sheet metal screw, or a wood screw. You could also select details about the head style and drive type.
With all those additional details the app asks, it sounds like Part Finder may still be learning from images users upload. Adding these known details may help it more quickly and accurately offer up similar results.
Amazon Part Finder is currently only available in the Amazon iOS app. There’s no word yet as to when it may land on Android.
Christina Bonnington is a tech reporter who specializes in consumer gadgets, apps, and the trends shaping the technology industry. Her work has also appeared in Gizmodo, Wired, Refinery29, Slate, Bicycling, and Outside Magazine. She is based in the San Francisco Bay Area and has a background in electrical engineering.