OpenLabel users also take pictures of bar codes, but instead of being given a score determined by a third party, they are shown reviews from other people who have used that product. They can also submit a review themselves, adding to the collective and up-to-date wisdom of the crowd. Such reviews – called “labels” – can include links to articles and other sources, such as GoodGuide’s own ratings.
The objective of OpenLabel is to bring “radical transparency” to the products we use and consume. “By creating a centralized place for people and organizations to share environmental, political, social, animal, and health and safety information, the OpenLabel Project will make commerce more transparent, and help consumers make smarter, more responsible choices,” its website states.
So far, more than 20 million products from over 14,000 brands are in the OpenLabel database. Obviously, the success of this product depends on how many people use and contribute to it, but with more than 135,000 reviews it’s off to a good start.