£15.99 DVDs? Just scan the barcode with your G1 Android, and watch it for FREE

13 March 2009

You are standing in Blockbuster. You hold the perfect DVD for Friday evening in your hands. £15.99. Crapper.  The checkout queue also looks a bit long. The security guard looks at you menacingly. You shrug. You whip out your Google Android, flip over the DVD, and take a snap of the barcode with your G1's inbuilt camera. You press a couple of buttons, slip the phone back into your pocket, and stroll out of Blockbusters with a big smile on your face. Done.

As soon as you get home, you switch on your HDTV. The movie is ready to go, just waiting for you to play. All this time you have not typed a single letter with a keyboard.

Life is good, thanks to new Android App, Torrent Droid, created by Alec Holmes of Zerofate for a modest reward of £65 from developer initiative website Androidandme where the idea originated from. How does the app work? Watch the video below.

The product is still in 'beta' stages, and the full version of Torrent Droid will be released within a month. The app is able to photo recognise bar codes and initiates a remote torrent download of the same movie you spotted at the shopping centre right on your home PC via a torrent application. There are other possibly useful applications, as BoingBoing editor Cory Doctorow points out:

I immediately thought of how useful this would be in conjunction with your personal DVD collection and a media-center PC under the TV. You could just barcode all the DVDs in your living room, have the Media Center torrent them, and box up the discs and stick them under the stairs. Yes, that's still illegal, but it'd be far more convenient than ripping the 1000-some DVDs currently cluttering up our tiny flat.

Everything seems 'illegal' these days. Except for taking bar code pics of food in the supermarket, remotely transferred to the significant other. Make me a sandwich... please? Nothing illegal about that, surely? More importantly, if only media companies and the movie industry didn't have their head up their arses for the last decade, innovative ideas like this could have been implemented, and perhaps reduce the need for menacingly-look security guards.

[Wired via BoingBoing]


14 comments

  • Martin
    The only problem I see with that this only works with films on DVD. Which means that I would have probably watched the film six months before by getting the torrent when it was in the cinema.
  • DVD M.
    I am perfectly happy with my Local Friendly Triad DVD Retailer. YOU WANT DVDEEE! ;^)
  • Bullet
    "The security guard looks at you menacingly. You shrug. You whip out your Google Android, flip over the DVD, and take a snap of the barcode with your G1’s inbuilt camera. You press a couple of buttons, slip the phone back into your pocket, and stroll out of Blockbusters with a big smile on your face. Done." At what point did you return the DVD to the shelf, so the security guard then pulls you back into the shop, calls the police and you end up in the cells for shoplifting. Smile wiped right of your cheesy face. hahaha
  • Im H.
    by the time the technology is widely available internet retailers will have killed off high street entertainment product retailers, hence no barcodes to scan - better luck next time,
  • Honky S.
    The sooner Blockbuster gets busted - the better. Viva Free Entertainment!!!
  • jaysexy212005
    Sounds like a good idea
  • john
    How long until this app shows up on piratebay? I wonder how they will feel about that. I mean, it's still illegal, but more convenient than going to the site and paying for the software. :)
  • MattS
    What a pointless app. Seriously, why bother going through all that hassle when you can just go straight to TPB, mininova, etc and search for the film you want a lot quicker, completely skipping the need to actually walk to a shop, find a film you want to watch and take a photo of a barcode. Fair enough, it's a cool little program, but it's useless. Also, f**K KLAXXON. I still refuse to DL anything uploaded by him as he used aXXo's rep to gain his own.
  • Mark
    So then, how do the film makers make enough money for their next film when people use this method of watching a DVD?
  • Dave T.
    "What a pointless app. Seriously, why bother going through all that hassle when you can just go straight to TPB, mininova, etc and search for the film you want a lot quicker, completely skipping the need to actually walk to a shop, find a film you want to watch and take a photo of a barcode. Fair enough, it’s a cool little program, but it’s useless. Also, f**K KLAXXON. I still refuse to DL anything uploaded by him as he used aXXo’s rep to gain his own." Totally agree Pointless application!
  • Bob M.
    "He's a knock-off nigel, he androids DVDs"
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