Earlier, we posted about an Android app called Resistor Scanner that can scan any color coded resistor component and tell its resistance value within an instant. I later got curious whether there are any such apps for other electronic components and fortunately there are. There is an app called SandScan using which anyone can actually scan a chip and find more information about it – the manufacturer, datasheet, availability in the market and the price. The app runs with the help of OctoPart API which is a popular electronics parts search website. This way you can save yourself from manually searching for those tiny printed parts names from the top of the chips.
The app has the simplest possible interface you can imagine – three buttons labeled “Scan Chip”, “Manual Search” and “ecDB Tools” in that order. The Scan Chip button opens up the camera interface of your Android device and lets you take a close picture of the chip that you are so curious about. You can then select the area where the chip is located in the picture and SandScan will take care of the rest. Through the clever use of OCR technology, it reads the text written on the chip and sends it to the OctoPart web site.
Pretty soon your screen will display a list of components matching the chip label. These components are manufactured by various companies and are distributed by various distributors. Each component is basically the same but depending on the manufacturer and the distributor, their prices and data-sheets may vary. You can select any component from the list of the results and it would show you the related datasheets, price and an option to purchase it online.
Conclusion: SandScan is very handy for electronics hobbyists and for those who are curious about electronics components. It can help you search for chips, find more information about them and if you are interested, in buying them online.
You can get the SandScan app for Android from https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=jerzy.cow.code.ee.sandscan.