Advice | July 27, 2018 9:00 am

Amazon’s New ‘Part Finder’ Is a Hardware Store for Your Smartphone

Point, click, receive missing part. It's that easy.

Your grand home redesign has been foiled again … by a single, indecipherable screw. Or missing fastener. 

You could go to the hardware store and try to match nuts and bolts there (that’s a fun, not-at-all stressful day). Or you could test out Amazon’s new Part Finder.

An advanced camera search mode that uses computer-vision technology — the brains of which Amazon acquired from startup Partpic a few years back — Part Finder helps you identify screws, nuts, bolts, washers and assorted fasteners.

Amazon Part Finder

Good news is that it’s already part of your Amazon shopping app.

To use:

  1. Open the Amazon app. Go to camera mode.
  2. On a white (or “solid, uncluttered, contrasting”) surface, place a penny next to but not touching the part you need to ID. The penny is used for contrast and size reference.
  3. Hold the phone directly above the part, then tilt it to bring the circle to the center of the screen’s crosshairs. Once it’s level, both the circle and crosshairs turn green.
  4. Hold the phone steady as the timer counts down to the take the photo

From there, you’ll be asked to select some attributes of the part you’re looking for. You’ll also be able to filter results based on brand, finish or type of material. And then, assuming they have it stock (it’s Amazon — they probably do), they’ll send you a replacement part stat.

Very cool for your home DIY-ers in theory. In reality … the app may need some fixing of its own.