GPS-Enabled Shopping: Never Get Lost at Home Depot Again!

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Imagine the scenario. You’re at a football game, post- bathroom break or beer run, and you suddenly realize that you don’t remember how to find your way back to your seat.

Not to worry. A new app for your iPhone (and, shortly, your Android device) may be able to help. In fact it might even help you find your way to the nearest bathroom in the first place.

It’s called Meridian, and you’ll want to think of it as a GPS tool for the other half. You know, those of us trundling around half lost in-doors. How’s it do it? Using GPS when it can, of course, but also indoor location-sensing tech, when it’s available, from partners like Cisco.

Merdian seems a bit limited at launch, only crawling Portland-based Powell’s Books (sniff out any title in stock), the California Academy of Sciences (thematic tours, interactive maps) and the American Museum of Natural History (turn-by-turn directions, daily events), but publisher Spotlight Mobile has big plans. Think sports stadiums, libraries, concert halls, more museums, and eventually pretty much anywhere that’s big, popular, and confusing.

Oh, and it’s free.

If you’d rather just grab the latest store deals and product guides undisturbed by sales associates, The Home Depot’s rolling out a new tool this week that’ll feed you those bits and more when you scan–rather, target with your camera–special codes from a mobile device.

The do-it-yourself retailer says it’s working with Scanbuy to let you snap shots of special barcodes in over 2,200 of its U.S. stores as well as signage and mail-based print ads that’ll dish up product reviews, how-to guides, and product-related advisory videos.

If you’d like to buy something, whether in or out of store, the app lets you do that, too. All you need is the Scanbuy utility, downloadable gratis, and an Android, Blackberry, iPhone, Symbian, or Windows-based mobile device.

All we’re still missing? A “scan-it” app that’ll quickly tell you if the store down the road has the product the store you’re at’s out of, or if the price they’re asking is high or low.

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