More pirate innovation: scan barcode at the store, downloaded at home

March 11, 2009

Just one more example of how all the best innovation is happening
outside the law.



Torrent Droid: Scan Barcodes, Get Torrents
Written by enigmax on March 11, 2009

You are standing in a store looking for a new DVD to buy. Rather than
buying it, you photograph the barcode with your phone and press a couple
of buttons. By the time you make it home, the movie is waiting for you
in your torrent client. You can with Torrent Droid.

AndroidAround a month ago, Android-orientated website Androidandme
launched 'Android Bounty', a new initiative which has led to the
creation of nice little torrent app. To find out more, we spoke to
Taylor Wimberly from the site.

"Android Bounty is a new kind of developers challenge we started for
creating applications on Google Android," he told TorrentFreak. "Users
submit ideas which can be voted up by others who pledge money to the
bounty. The first developer who delivers a working application is
rewarded with the bounty." Taylor explained the idea is similar to how
users promote stories on Digg, except people vote with cash.

To start things rolling, a few days later Androidandme set a challenge
to its readers – create an Android-compatible BitTorrent application to
scan UPC barcodes and find related torrents on the larger BitTorrent
search engines. Users would be able to find and start torrents remotely,
and the music album or movie would be fully downloaded by the time they
got home.

There were some terms and conditions to the challenge. The software
would use the G1 cellphone's inbuilt camera to scan a retail DVD UPC
barcode, and use the capture to identify the official details of the
product from a database.

Once the product is positively identified, the software should be able
to send the results directly to a BitTorrent search engine, such as The
Pirate Bay or Mininova. After the search results appear, the user could
then choose which torrent to start.

Once selected, the .torrent file would be downloaded and sent to the
webUI of uTorrent and the download would begin, hopefully ready for when
the user reaches his or her home machine. No typing input would be
required for the above.

Just a few weeks later, Alec Holmes of Zerofate had stepped up to the
challenge, created the app and collected the modest bounty of $90.00.

"This version of Torrent Droid is a work in progress but the video shows
the core features work," said Alec.

The full version of Torrent Droid will be released within a month but in
the meantime, here is a video of it in action.


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