Amazon has quietly added a new feature to its iPhone app that hopes to make it easier for you to find a spare part.
The feature, called Part Finder, was baked into the company’s iPhone app a few weeks ago but it didn’t announce the feature at the time. To use it, you’ll need to point your iPhone camera at a screw, nut, bolt, washer, or fastener. Amazon will then scan it and try to match it against the items it carries.
Amazon confirmed the feature and its launch to TechCrunch on Thursday. The company said that it’s able to identify more than 100 fastener types. Amazon told TechCrunch that those fasteners, alone, are used in millions of parts.
The feature represents a major shift in how we might shop for fasteners. For decades, we’ve taken a spare screw or fastener with us to the hardware store to try and compare it to the myriad options the store has on store shelves. And with any luck at all, we’ll find the right part and be able to fix the damaged device we have at home.
With Amazon’s Part Finder feature inside its iPhone app, all that changes. Now, we can simply take a picture, Amazon will determine whether it has a replacement in stock, and then we can order it and have it shipped to our homes.
According to TechCrunch, Amazon acquired a company named Partpic in 2016 for an undisclosed amount. Partpic designed the Part Finder feature now inside the company’s app.