John Battelle writes in his piece, “The Transparent (Shopping) Society”:

First, the entire UPC system, which I must admit I do not fully grok, must be made open and available as a web service. Second, merchants must be compelled to make their inventory open and available to web services. Third, mobile device makers must install readers in their phones, essentially turning phones into magic gateways between the physical world and the virtual world of web-based information. And fourth, providers like Google must create applications that tie it all together.

Ross Stapleton-Gray addresses these points in the comments section, and a lively discussion ensues, including Sergei Burkov of Dulance, which just announced an RSS comparison shopping application.