Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Have the courts forced Microsoft into this, or did they see this as ANOTHER division and ANOTHER revenue generator for the company.
Technology Review has a story about traffic prediction and avoidance. Pretty neat technology but there's one sentence in the article that should make people look at Microsoft in a different light.
The company uses algorithms that originated in the labs of Microsoft Research; its technology is the first fruit of Microsoft's initiative to license intellectual property to venture capitalists and startups
Instead of taking years to embed a new application into an OS or new device, they license the IP and let others develop it. How long, and how could, Microsoft even attempt to implement all of their IP.
All the years Nathan Myhrvold and Intellectual Ventures (do a Google if you don't know who they are) have been buying up patents. What do you think they will do with them?
How much revenue do you think Microsoft can generate from Nathan's visions? (Wink wink, hint hint, nod nod)
Microsoft is in a position where they can go to court with anybody, so there would definitely be an incentive to license versus fight.
Will Microsoft create a licensing arm? Will this be their answer to Web 2.0?
A lawsuit against Google and VoIP patents.
I have commented a number of times what I think the New American Business Model will look like. Google is starting to see it.
We don't manufacture anything in the States anymore, so the next "asset" will come from companies leveraging their intellecutal property.
SearchEngine Watch discovered a lawsuit filed in October against Google Talk for infringing on some VoIP patents.
Rates Technology says that two patents they hold (awarded in 1995, 2001) for minimizing the cost of long distance calls using the Internet are being infringed upon by Google Talk.
A blog post by Rich Tehrani explains that Rates Technology, a company Tehrani says, exists, "to collect revenue from other companies" has also sued Nortel, Sharp Electronics and others over patents it holds.
ScanBuy does it again. These guys are doing a terrific job of exposing the physical world connection. It also appears the service providers are starting to listen too.
This story was on my local NBC news last night.
Oliver Attia is the CEO of Scan-Buy , which offers software that you can download to a cell phone that has a camera.
When you are shopping, you just line up your camera with the bar code and Scan-Buy almost instantly gives you a product description and customer ratings, and you can compare the price you see on the shelves with the prices available from e-tailers.
If you want the item you see listed online, one-click buying is possible from your phone.
Attia said Verizon and Sprint are in discussions with the company.
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
From WinnipegPress Cellphone users get the message
Welcome to the world of mobile marketing, where merchants use cellphones as a way to deliver messages to consumers.
"No other medium allows for this," said Keith Bilous, president of Captive Interactive, a Winnipeg-based mobile marketing company. "People spend so much time online or on the go."
That is why, he said, mobile marketing is an effective, instantaneous way to reach people.
The way it works is merchants will purchase keywords -- such as "gas" in the case of a gas station -- from Captive Interactive and include them in their radio or print ads.
Here's the problem. Will consumers remember the short code for every mobile campaign. NO. They will remember one or two. So if I'm Joe's Gas Station do I want to buy the keyword "gas" from Captive or from a mobile info platform that is accepted universally.
Would you rather buy an ad in the NY Times or the Scranton Gazette?
Consumers input the keywords into their cellphones, send them using a mobile code called a "short code," and receive the information they want. Messages are delivered instantly through Taggg, a network that sends information, exclusive offers and other content to users' cellphones in the form of text messages.
I suspect that just like there is one search engine that is used for PC search, there will be one mobile information engine. Who has the best shot of implementing this application?
Friday, December 23, 2005
Has this ever been thought of, or could it be done?
Your GPS device in your car gives you maps and driving directions. Why couldn't it function as a search engine too?
Today's Investor's Business Daily has a good article Car navigation prospects point north
These systems use dashboard-mounted displays and computerized voices to provide turn-by-turn driving instructions. They have touch screens for inputting destinations and are pre-loaded with U.S. maps, including thousands of points of interest.
But will it have the point of interest I want?
Makers of cell phones and personal digital assistants are starting to add GPS navigation capabilities into their devices. But they lack the large touch-screen displays and big data storage for maps that consumers want in their cars.
Here's what I would do.
Create a browser/search engine that allows me to search the Web using my GPS device. Tap into YellowPages or Google database for info. When my point of interest comes up, click a link to provide a map and driving directions.
Could this be done? Tell me techies if this is possible and if it exists?
I can hear Bill G saying "touche!".
There were lots of rumors Google was going to buy Opera for a mobile OS.
Things are heating up in the mobile space.
From CoolTech Microsoft buys out Opera
Opera will bring a significant number of things to the table for Microsoft. First and foremost, Opera will help compete against Firefox, the biggest threat to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer currently.
Perhaps the most desirable feature that Opera has to offer is its mobile version of the browser. Thus far, it’s the best mobile browser currently on portable devices, and it will surely give Microsoft an easy entry into the mobile market.
There has to be a Fat Lady reference in here somewhere.
Thursday, December 22, 2005
Caffeine Finder GPS is the first mobile application which leads you to your next cup of joe.
Caffeine Finder GPS points you to the closest restaurant or café for a great cup of coffee. Find every major café or restaurant across the country from over 45,000 locations.
Once you find where you want to go, ask Coffee Finder GPS for a map, a review, and the address, all right from your phone or PDA. And if you use Nextel, you can take advantage of the automatic GPS location functions built right into the phone.
Take this out a few steps, and see what Yellow Pages could do with this?
The cellphone is taking on more functions and turning into the "remote control" for your life.
From CR80 News Contactless payments expected to show dramatic growth
In the U.S. MasterCard also continues to work closely with handset manufacturers to pilot the use of mobile phones as contactless payment devices. We have made great progress with the technology involved.
Can you see how Mastercard could use this as a powerful mobile marketing tool?
We have now integrated PayPass technology into the actual phone itself. Although we do not expect commercial availability of this option in 2006, we believe this payment option shows great promise in the future.
Do you know what Mastercard could offer as an incentive for this service?
Since contactless payments offer consumers a fast, convenient and secure alternative to cash, their purchases are no longer limited to the cash in their wallet--a win for them and for merchants.
How will this affect PayPal? Lots of things to ponder with this.
Here's an interesting angle on RFID and the telcos from AT&T.
AT&T is planning a wide-sweeping RFID trial in the beginning of next year, the first such service initiated by a U.S. telecom operator. AT&T supplies the global network necessary for any large-scale RFID deployment.
Did you ever think AT&T could be a key player in RFID?
Almost all of the RFID deployments of the past used completely closed systems. The RFID chips of an automaker are designed only to be read by that automaker's RFID readers. A fare or toll card from an Illinois toll road won't work on a New York turnpike.
On the protocols front, a global standard is necessary to make electronic product codes and accompanying data transparent across the public network.
With standard protocols, however, everyone with an RFID reader has the ability to access your supply-chain information.
It's no stretch to imagine that one day something as common as a bottle of shampoo, a carton of milk or even the family dog might have a presence on the global data grid.
There's that Phase 2 of the Internet again.
"As we look at the landscape for the next several years, we believe all objects will be networked," Shepcaro said.
In other words, all objects will have Physical World Hyperlinks ?
I had to submit my story of the year to Carnivalists. It seems fitting that it comes right after Google announces they beat Microsoft to AOL. When I look at the AOL/Google deal I see two things. Content and users.
While these guys fight over 700m consumers, I suggest they look at getting 2B users instead.
I tried to reach Bill Gates and tell him How Microsoft Can Beat Google .
Think he responds :) ?
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
There is no intellect required, just luck and greed.
The show has added a text to win contest. Text the suitcase number you think has the $10k in it, and see if you win (.49 for every text). Pretty brainless, and lacks creativity like the show. There are SO MANY other interesting mobile marketing ideas they could have used for this show.
The show doesn't have any substance, so why should their mobile marketing campaign.
On the informative side of mobile marketing, I just received a text message from FOXTV letting me know what tonight's Stacked show (starring Pamela Anderson) was about, and the time it would be on.
Yes, permission granted.
BusinessWeek has a story about Trends To Invest In for 2006.
One I found of interest.
Any other investment areas look good to the people BW has talked to?
One of our stories is focusing on companies that have a good pipeline of patents, so we actually called for the most innovative companies out there with the best R&D.
These are smart companies looking to capitalize on the next big thing in their particular area.
See the value in The New American Business Model now?
A picture taken by a camera phone BECOMES an identifier. This is another way to look at the emerging space.
From New Scientist Camera phone helps label snaps
The emerging technology will allow people and places to be automatically identified and labelled within each picture, as it is taken by any Bluetooth-enabled camera cellphone.
The concept, being developed by Marc Davis of Yahoo's Berkeley research lab in California, is based on a central server that registers details sent by the phone when the photo is taken. These include the nearest cellphone mast, the strength of the call signal and the time the photo was taken.
I'm already thinking how valuable this could be for mobile marketing.
Buxton, a senior researcher at Microsoft gave an interesting interview about ubiquitous computing.
Any product designer who thinks what they're designing is the thing in the box is completely missing the point.
For example, I play this game when I give talks where I say "e-commerce" and ask people what they think of. People often say Amazon, IBM, eBay. But I'd say maybe the company Symbol would be the right company. Well, you say, who the hell is Symbol?
They make bar code scanners at the supermarket. You realize there is essentially a PC. Instead of the mouse it has another input device, called a bar code scanner. It's all transparent.
Will Symbol provide the platform for m-commerce?
It's so seamless that we don't even notice it.
The cellphone will be your "mouse" or remote control for the physical world. Many don't realize it yet.
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Verizon started to offer their VZNavigator last week.
This is a service that will tell cell-phone users where they are and give directions to nearby destinations, ranging from gas stations to hospitals to hotels throughout the United States.
The service, VZNavigator, is Verizon's first to be based on the cell-phone user's location and will compete with navigation services that are used in automobiles.
Verizon Wireless' service will work by using global positioning system technology built into cell phones to determine the user's location. The user than can scroll through a menu to find a nearby destination.
Jeff Kagan, a telecommunications analyst said "I think it's going to be hot – as hot as pictures and songs," ."This is the first step in a brand new world of wireless connectivity and wireless innovation."
Verizon said it offers the addresses of 14 million places in the United States in its database, including restaurants, ATMs, hotels, police stations, hospitals, movie theaters and gas station.
What is the key component for mobile information and soon, mobile marketing?
What a great idea. Until we are able to click on hyperlink in a show, this will get traction.
Have you ever watched a TV show or movie, seen a product you wanted more info on? As more and more brands are placing their product within a show (Pringles on Survivor, anything that will pay on Apprentice), there should be a service that lets you get more info about a certain product (advertised or not) in a show.
eVisure does that. From shows like Apprentice to movies like Ocean's 12, you can search for products that were in the show and get more info on them.
What advertiser won't use this service?
You know how you will be able to directly connect w/ a product in a show? Stay tuned.
This article plays up my theory about the New American Business Model.
As we see a huge shift to Web 2.0 applications, I'm already seeing a "land rush" of sorts for intellectual property (IP) that allows this.
What is the one thing that has true value for a company in the States, and it loses its value when/if it's outsourced?
From BusinessWeek Mining the vein of great ideas
In recent years sophisticated investors such as hedge funds and mutual funds have been seeking an edge in the market by looking at R&D through the prism of patents.
"Patents are an output measure rather than an input measure like R&D," says Patrick Thomas, principal at 1790 Analytics.
A good grasp of the quality of a company's patent portfolio is valuable information to investors. But that isn't enough. Companies need marketing, production, and other skills to capitalize on those ideas.
Another intriguing indicator of a company's innovative prowess is the money it earns from its patent portfolio through royalty and licensing fees.
Today, wealth is created by the impact of new ideas and other intangible assets, like patents.
Monday, December 19, 2005
From Mercury News Merchandise information to cell phone
Several companies are experimenting with better ways to send merchandise information to mobile phones, and they aim to transform the devices into personal shopping assistants.
San Francisco's WideRay has placed kiosks in selected music stores, video game stores and theaters across the country and in Europe. When customers come within 25 feet of the kiosks, they receive a message on their cell phones asking if they're interested in getting more information about various items the store is selling, perhaps music, ring tones, videos or games. If customers are interested, they can go to the kiosk and choose what to download.
The messages and downloads reach customers' cell phones over radio waves using a technology known as Bluetooth, which is more commonly used for wireless headsets.
Another feature coming to cell phones could solve a common pet peeve for shoppers: finding price or other information on an item when there are no sales people in sight .
Saturday, December 17, 2005
Christmas came early for the Pondering Primate. I had the opportunity to visit a good friend of mine, who I feel is a true visionary.
Conversations filled with lots of "what-ifs" and "could you". Thanks Billy.
Here's the evolution that I see WILL happen with mobile marketing.
1. SMS Short Message Service, or text messages are the "in" thing for mobile marketing campaigns. They are easy to use, and all phones are compatible. Right now brands and advertisers haven't figured out how to get past free prizes as a way to utilize this application. A big problem with this remembering the short code number AND the keyword.
1.5 Using the keypad for text. This is a little early but there is another way to "text" that doesn't involve a short code. Stay tuned for details.
MMS Multimedia Messaging Services, pictures taken with camera phones. Take a picture of a logo or article and send for more info or prizes. This still isn't direct connect, but IT IS one step closer to point and click. Both SMS and MMS still require the consumer to remember either the short code (4 or 5 digit number) or email address in order to interact with the brand.
Items 3-7 fall under the category of physical world hyperlinks. That is when a some machine readable identifier is resolved and directed to a specific website or provides specific info.
In laymans terms. Instead of typing in a long website domain name (www.jimmybuffet.com/greatesthits.html), you just type a code or click on a code and get directed to a specific path.
3. I don't really know the technical term for this, but I will call it Mobile Real Names. A few years ago, there was a company called Real Names that allowed you to type in a word in the browser window and be directed to a specific site. I think you see this application come soon.
(Microsoft was major investor in Real Names and there's a reason why they let it go under). This application is probably a WAP site or a private label browser that offers this.
There is still typing involved and NOT direct connect. Just like a retail store, the easier I make it to buy (connect)a good, the more likely I will get a sale (qualified lead).
4.2D Codes. You see them on Fedex/UPS Packages, mortage/financial documents, medical records and other documents. This is a "closed" network. A Fedex guy can't scan a UPS package and get the same info the UPS guy gets. But IT IS a direct connect with the physical item. No typing, just scanning.
See how we are getting closer to using the phone as a mouse and these "identifiers" are hyperlinks? There are numerous camera phones that are able to do this.
5. Barcode. They are everywhere. Pick up any packaged good, CD, or just about anything in your house it has one. There are over 3b unique barcodes out there. Image these barcodes as websites.
You may see the number 015628373820, but there are companies that can hyperlink that barcode and direct a mobile phone browser to www.jimmybuffetsgreatesthits.com. That is direct connect and an OPEN network. No typing, just point and click. We are getting closer to this application, but not many brands see the value with this YET.
6. Images. There will a time when you can click on a Coke logo, or picture of a book cover and be directed to a speciific website. The database for that will be enormous, and the cameras on the phone will have to improve. I imagine there will be a market for this, but the work involved will be too cumbersome for massive adoption. A machine readable identifier will suffice.
7. RFID Radio Frequency Identification. Let's call it the barcode on steroids. You will just have to wave your mobile near the product and be directed to a specific website. No typing, no picture taking...this will be as direct connect as you can get. Nokia and Motorola are designing phones that will be able to read RFID tags.
Maybe you didn't realize this, but the farther down you go on the list, starting with 2, the less you have to rely on a search engine for info. Google relies on 90% plus of their revenues from advertisers. What happens when brands don't need Google in order to communicate with consumers?
If I'm Coke, soon I will have BILLIONS of my website in millions of locations. It kind of makes buying keywords from Google seem primitive doesn't it? Pun intended.
So I ask you brand or advertiser, "where are you on this list?". If you're not on this list, why not?
Thursday, December 15, 2005
I think this story is going to "get legs". Not because of the mobile email patent, but because we are seeing a transformation of American business. Microsoft has set a precedent of settling patent disputes and more patent holders are being financed for their IP. This has leveled the playing field.
Visto has filed a lawsuit against Microsoft accusing the software vendor of infringing on three of its patents for mobile email applications.
The California based company develops technology allowing users to access their email on mobile devices. The alleged patent infringement case centres around Windows Mobile 5.0, which was launched last May.
You are starting to see The New American Business Model take shape.
As the market for mobile email grows, it has become a hotbed of patent litigation. The NTP patent holding company for years has been engaged in a legal battle with Research in Motion over the alleged infringement of another mobile email patent.
Recent court rulings there have sparked fears that users in the US could be cut off from their Blackberry devices.
NTP on Wednesday signed a patent licensing deal with Visto and became a shareholder in the company
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
I thought this story would get more attention. This should be a serious wake-up call to many US Corporations.
China now world's largest tech supplier
China, whose technology trade has grown almost 38% a year since 1996, and has overtaken the US as the top supplier of ICT products.
China overtook the United States as the world's biggest supplier of information and communications technology products last year, according to a report released on Monday.
China exported US$180 billion worth of information and communications technology last year. The US exported US$149 billion. In 2003, US exports totaled US$137 billion and China's exports totaled US$123 billion
Here are some of my favorite posts.
We Interrupt This Broadcast
Physical World Hyperlink
Physical World Web 2.0
The Evolution of Mobile Marketing
The Next Google?..No Much Much Bigger
Wireless Web Analytics
What Really Is Mobile Search?
What Does A Mobile Internet Company Look Like?
Which Came First Chicken Or The Egg...Maybe A Stem Cell?
AOL...DOA or AOK?
Here's How Microsoft Can Beat Google
How Google Makes A GoogOL
Just Do A Softee!
Pssst, Hey Gates You Wanna Beat Google?
Microsoft Has An RFID Browser
Google Has Killer App For Mobile
The Killer App For Mobile
Price Comparison Through A Barcode
the New American Business Model
GoogleTalk Speaks Volumes
Google Connects The Physical World
Mobile Search Gets Direct Connect
If I Was A Service Provider
When Will The Physical World Connection Get Adopted?
Pick A 2d Code, Any 2d Code
Google Introduces Mobile Marketing?
Yahoo And Flickr Create Mobile Marketing Powerhouse
Wall Street Journal Barcode Story
Which is your favorite?
From DesignTechnica CBS,UPN to bring mobile content to Amp'd
Content to be provided on Amp’d will include behind the scenes footage, unique previews, show clips and highlights from CBS’s CSI: NY, Numb3rs, The King of Queens and the Late Show with David Letterman as well as UPN’s America’s Next Top Model, Everybody Hates Chris and Girlfriends.
I have said numerous times that pornography is the industry that adopts a new medium the quickest. Porn found a way to charge for content online, and in my opinion, will be the industry that is the early adopter for mobile marketing and physical world conncection.
From USA Today Cellphone technology rings pornography
The evolution of video-capable wireless devices has made mobile porn an emerging cultural phenomenon and booming enterprise. Global 2005 sales will hit $1 billion, up 175% from 2004, says Juniper Research. U.S. sales are just $30 million, mostly because carriers, fearful of a backlash, haven't provided easy access to X-rated theater.
I discussed howXobile is changing that. They offer a private label application that allows a mobile phone user to click on any porn DVD 2d code for more information. What would really work is just to click on every barcode instead.
Web-enabled phones can download porn from the Internet, but access is cumbersome, and carriers don't share fees with content providers. By offering "on deck" portals, carriers can reap fat user fees.
Monday, December 12, 2005
Nextcode launches Connex for camera phones
Nextcode Corporation a leader in optical barcode solutions for camera phones, today announced the launching of ConnexTo(tm). ConnexTo allows camera phone users to create and read 2D barcodes that open a broad range of mobile services.
ConnexTo , with their "mCode", allows consumers to do much more with their phones by removing the need to key in information or navigate through menus.
ConnexTo provides codes for WAP addresses, SMS messages, contact information, and auto-dial phone numbers.
TextPayMe, a revolutionary new mobile payment solution
Now entering its public beta phase of testing, TextPayMe is a revolutionary new service that allows users to send money via text messaging.
To deliver a payment, a user simply enters the amount he or she wishes to send and the recipient's cell phone number (or personal alias) -- the transaction is instantaneous.
TextPayMe marks a revolution in the mobile payment industry. By providing a convenient and secure solution that works with virtually every mobile phone model across all major carriers in the United States, TextPayMe allows customers to start instantly -- without having to install applications or wait for cumbersome downloads.
The fees don't see too unreasonable either.
What do you think?
Sunday, December 11, 2005
4INFO, one of the companies that is doing everything right, will be introducing an exciting new mobile application. Just last week they announced that Nokia was including their app in their mobile search and service providers would be embedding in early 06.
From ABC News A pipeline between your PC and your phone
Ever wish you could build a pipeline between your PC and your phone? You could funnel all sorts of things, not just e-mail, but news updates, search capabilities, and more to your cell. Mobile search directory 4INFO wants to make that a reality with its new concepts for mobile access
The Palo Alto, California–based firm is developing its own specialized client for mobile content. The concept isn't so much about creating new content as it is about refining access to this information.
The new client will let you group all your favorite mobile content providers into one feed that you can modify via your PC and browse or query remotely. Your preferences are saved in a 4INFO account, also known as your Digital Locker.
"What we're trying to do is become an interface between mobile users and the digital world," says Zaw Thet, 4INFO's VP of marketing and product strategy.
To see what you can do w/ 4INFO's engine, just type in your query (stock quote, yellow page listing, sports scores, movie times, flight times, price lookup and many more) in the 4INFO search box on the right hand side of The Pondering Primate. You'll love the speed and results.
Let me know what you think.
Saturday, December 10, 2005
Expect more ecommerce AND real world retailers to start implementing this type of service for their entrance into mobile marketing.
SMS service for in-stock XBox
Seeing a gap in the market, a SMS service has launched that will let you know where spare stock of Microsoft’s Xbox360 console is in time for Christmas.
This new monitoring service, based at http://www.xbox360locator.co.uk/, is maintaining a constant watch over a growing number of leading websites and alerting signed up members by text message the moment stock is available
Friday, December 09, 2005
I'm wondering if this is just a novelty. Does it have to be used with mobile phone, or can you have an separate device does the same thing. Is mobility really a necessity here?
From BreitBart Israeli mobile phone detects breast cancer
An Israeli psychologist has reportedly developed a radical new technology which would enable an ordinary mobile phone to diagnose breast cancer and various type of heart disease.
By installing new software and adding a basic infrared camera, a mobile phone could be transformed into a highly-effective diagnostic tool, offering far more accurate results than the self-checks many women do themselves, the Haaretz daily reported.
The infrared camera uses two techniques, both of which have proven effective in diagnosing breast cancer: one which analyzes temperature differences in different parts of the breast, while the other analyses oxygen flow to areas of the breast.
If you don't have a mobile marketing plan in place, you better start soon. With TiVo like devices becoming common, advertisers better find a way to reach the "other" 2b devices.
James from MocoNews spotted a great quote from a Coca Cola marketing manager.
“Mobile marketing could be phenomenally important, when you look at the penetration of handsets and the passion the audience has for mobile,” said Coca-Cola marketing manager James Eadie. “As a way of connection, it ought to be phenomenally powerful and more important than TV. So we should be spending 50% of our marketing budget within decades.”
At the moment it’s SMS campaigns, but that will change to richer-media MMS campaigns next year and probably take off from there. As mobile marketing increases it will move beyond the text/response format, and that should provide opportunity for content providers…
Coke is already executing this, what is your mobile marketing strategy? You're going to have to get permission to advertise. Do you know how?
Will Yellow Pages utilize this mobile technology?
Eniro launches smart phone books
In Finland, the directory firm Eniro launch the first smart phone books in the spring of 2006. Upcodes of the smart phone book can be read with a mobile phone camera.
The user is automatically directed to the Internet pages indicated by the Upcodes.
Upcodes can be read with nine Nokia phone models, three Sony Ericsson phone models, two Samsung phone models, and with nearly all Symbian 60-based phones. A programme that can be downloaded with a WAP browser is needed for the service
In order to get permission for a mobile marketing campaign, the advertiser MUST give something to the cell phone user. It's that simple.
Brands need to give a coupon, information, or a service in order to get on that phone. I have outlined numerous examples how this will be done.
From Online Media Ad clutter mounts on cell phones
From a Ball State University study.
The recent study also found that about one-third of those who received mobile ads found them annoying.
Most students--51 percent--said they don't want ads on their cell phones, but others indicated that they could be persuaded to accept marketing messages. Twenty-nine percent said they would consider agreeing to ads in exchange for something free--like ringtones, extra minutes, upgrades, or access to the Web.
In a sign that coupons or other discounts might be a good use of mobile marketing efforts, two-thirds of respondents said that cash might make them more favorably disposed toward the ads
Thursday, December 08, 2005
At 10 times sales, somebody must see some growth opportunity
From Marketwatch Electronic Arts to buy Jamdat Mobile for $680m
Electronic Arts Inc. said on Thursday it would buy Jamdat Mobile Inc. in a $680 million deal to increase its share of the fast-growing mobile gaming business, sending Jamdat shares up over 18 percent.
EA, the world's biggest video game publisher, said it would pay $27 per Jamdat share in cash and assume outstanding stock options. The two companies plan to publish more than 50 games for mobile phones in the first year after the completion of the deal.
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
This just shows that phone manufacturers AND service providers want to provide useful consumer applications. I have been saying what a great service this and how much I use it.
You're witnessing the killer app for mobile marketing taking shape. Great job guys.
"For more info" is replaced by "4INFO".
From CommsDesign Nokia adds mobile search to cell phones
Nokia has added 4INFO Inc.’s mobile search service in the United States, the company said Tuesday. The service is free; 4INFO's revenue comes from advertising.
So Nokia will embed a free service application on their phones, in hopes of generating revenues from advertising? The 4INFO guys must have "painted" a pretty picture of how lucrative this will be.
Check out their site and set your own alerts
Customers with a Nokia handset can now download the application to query millions of U.S. local directory listings, real-time sports scores, player statistics, local weather forecasts, and detailed movie show times and reviews through 4INFO’s free plug-in.
"We have more than 15 million Yellow Page listings in the United States. The user puts in an area code to identify local listings, for example, and that is how we know what listings to send back," Thet explained.
There will be a 4INFO search/info box on the phone. Instead of sending a text message, just type keyword and go.
The Nokia Mobile Search Application is available for download for all Nokia Series 60 cellular phones and will come embedded on phones from carriers beginning in the first quarter of 2006.
Want to know how they create the killer app for mobile?
4INFO starts to sell keywords to advertisers that they can use in ANY for of advertising. The Absolut ad has "4INFFO Keyword ABSOLUT" at the bottom where just typing ABSOLUT into the search box takes you to wherever ABSOLUT wants you to go. Every magazine ad, TV commercial, billboard will now have a physical world hyperlink.
4INFO keywords will become physical world hyperlinks.
"But Scott, there are no barriers to entry with this". I know, there aren't any barriers to entry with search either. There's a company that offers info for consumers and ads for advertisers and they seem to be doing pretty good.
Say goodbye to SMS shortcodes when you have a "mobile info portal" on your phone.
Here's what I think happens.
4INFO starts to become the dominant player in mobile marketing, they start to generate a crapload of revenues by selling mobile keywords. Google realizes they are missing out on billions of future revenues and buys 4INFO out for $100-200m. Google adopts this "mobile keyword" concept and find ANOTHER way to keep advertisers coming back for more.
While other mobile marketing companies are offering free ringones, 4INFO has made it a point to offer INFO, not search. In doing so, they gained acceptance and now have Nokia and service providers at their door.
Great job guys, it's nice to see people and a company that "gets it" and can sell it too.
Sunday, December 04, 2005
Google needs a unique type of physical world hyperlink for their Publication business to take off. Do you see how?
You can't click on piece of paper, or can you?
BusinessWeek article Can Google go glossy? discusses Google's rocky entrance into the print advertising space.
Only one of 10 advertisers interviewed by BusinessWeek said their print ad performed well enough to recoup the money it cost. They could get that number up to a 9 or 10 if they offered this.
If most marketers are reluctant to re-up, despite Google and the magazines forgoing profits, can this endeavor become a moneymaker for all the parties involved?
YES, this could be huge for Google if they use a little creativity.
By selling bite-size chunks of these ad pages, it hopes to draw in thousands of marketers who otherwise couldn't afford magazine ads. Just by making it cheaper doesn't make it better, this needs something else for it to work. That something else could make this an enormous revenue generator for Google.
"The whole power of the Web is to bring targeted visitors to your site," says Jennifer Blackhurst, co-founder of TrimYourDebt. "The print ad hasn't done this, so it didn't justify the cost." How can you do that?
There are three ways Google can generate revenues with service. Do you see how?
I would love to be in charge of this project, the applications are endless.
Friday, December 02, 2005
This week Wap Review hosts Carnival of the Mobilists .
The idea of the Carnival is to expose a variety of the best writing on mobility in one place.
Debbie Jones at Mobile Jones has submitted a very interesting article on Human Factors Engineering as it applies to mobile interfaces. Debbie speaks from experience and argues that one must take a systems approach considering man, machine, system and environment. Read how and why in, Usability v. Human Factors in Complex Mobile Systems .
Troy Norcross writes a blog called Mobile Marketing & SPAM which is all about successful marketing that is not SPAM. His latest piece uses the theater as a metaphor to illustrate how to do mobile marketing that works rather than annoys. Read: Mobile Marketers - Take your cue from the theatre
The VanGorilla, The Pondering Primate, is a blogger who is constantly discovering and sharing ideas for new mobile apps and services. He’s trying to sell his latest to the service providers - or is he? Take a look at If I Was A Service Provider - which is my pick for the best post of the week.
Russell Buckley and Carlo Longino, blog at MobHappy. This week Carlo presents to the Carnival a great item on mobile music and ringtones and why those who see one as the extension of the other are missing the point. Read, Ringtones Are Not Mobile Music, and Vice Versa
C. Enrique Ortiz in his Mobility Weblog offers a look at the many new Java ME APIs in the latest Nokia S60 handsets. Series 60, as S60 used to be called, has always been my favorite Smartphone platform. It good to see that Nokia has chosen to support standards rather than proprietary extensions. Get the details in, Nokia S60 Platform - A JTWI Platform on Steroids
In Smart Mobs Judy Breck reports on a thought provoking and potentially controversial article from Developments – The International Development Magazine that suggests that mobile phones are a ticket out of poverty in the developing world. See, Mobile phone as lifter from poverty .
Daniel Taylor is back with the best analysis I’ve seen of the RIM v. NTP impasse in his Mobile Enterprise Weblog. Daniel really gets into what the corporate decision makers are going though and what the real risks to RIM’s future are. A must read: Contemplating Life Without BlackBerry
Finally, from Wap Review, his take on what the organizations behind the three most visited Web domains - Yahoo, Google and MSN - have been doing in the mobile area; The Web’s Big 3 Do Mobile.
As I constantly come up with mobile marketing ideas that involve the physical world connection, it occurs to me what the adoption problem is.
The companies that have this ability, are not "painting" the proper picture to the companies that can benefit the most.
Remember I said, you don't need a service provider to implement this.
From my idea notebook, page 41, here's just one example of how this gets implemented.
Scanbuy is making the news lately with this ability, so let's use them as an example. We will use Amazon as a company that could benefit from this. Keep this in mind, I have numerous examples of companies and industries that could benefit, but I'm just using these 2 for an example.
If I'm Scanbuy, I would call Jeff Bezos up at Amazon, the largest ecommerce company, and make a proposal. Jeff I can turn every physical object in the World **** **, are you interested?
"Amazon, offer 20% off(or whatever is agreeable) on **** **** if you ******* ****** ****** ** ***** ****** your mobile phone. Any time **** ******* by scanning a barcode or typing in the barcode number, ****** *** ** *******.
What this does is **** **** for enormous **** and at the same time it **** your *** ***.
People with this application on their phone *********. Your $$$$$ is a huge plus for m-commerce, and you have the $$$ $$$ $$, so just ***** *** that with this application. ***** *** *** ***** and Amazon does the rest.
*** *** to get this application on the phone even quicker.
Include ****** ** *** for the ** *** just to ***** *** ******
Implement a ****** ** ***** program. For every person *** ** *, give ** ***. Every ** ***** ** this barcode scanning application, ** *** **** ****.
This would be an incredible viral campaign.
You didn't think I would give it away that easy did you?
My notebook has the answers.
Thursday, December 01, 2005
I wasn't kidding when I said service providers should adopt the physical world connection application as soon as possible.
David LaPlante, CEO of Twelve Horses did an interview with InternetRetailer.com. This is a followup to their announcement of 2d codes and coupons being deliverded on the mobile phone.
The coupon service is starting to be deployed in Europe and is under consideration in the U.S. by two apparel retailers and one music merchant. “The technology has definitely hit a nerve,”
Cell phone-delivered coupons – which appear as alpha-numeric text messages that can be entered onto a retail web site, spoken into a voice-recognition system, or simply shown to a store retailer.
The next step is when you can scan a coupon and be directly connected to the retailer's website of choice.
What does every coupon have? Do you see the endless hyperlinks waiting to be connected by a phone?
Do you see how the service provider misses out, but does the heavy lifting?
Retailers as well as other marketers are expected to deploy the cell phone coupon service as part of broader marketing strategies.
And just like that, there's a great mobile application that involves both retailers and consumers that didn't involve a service provider for adoption.
After reading about FOXTV's short code (SMS) service, I realized there are probably a number of other great short codes that need some exposure.
A companys short code is usually a 5 digit number (or if they are creative a word) that you use to initiate a text message conversation.
For example there's 4INFO (44636), QTAGS (78257), GOOGL (46645).
So if you have a short code and a service associated with it OR you know of short codes you want me to expose, let me know about it.
Juice Wireless Chairman Nick Desai had some great comments when he accepted a Mobile Marketing award the other night.
He chided wireless-service providers, saying they are stifling development of the mobile phone as a medium by focusing on the competition rather than the consumer.
He also said that while Cingular Wireless, Verizon Wireless and Sprint to some extent control subscribers’ online experience by making it easier for consumers to get news, sports, or other information from the carrier’s preferred sites, they are limiting the marketing potential of the mobile phone. I disagree
“Let’s open up the barriers and not stifle creativity,” he urged while accepting an award for best use of mobile marketing.
Service providers aren't stifling creativity, they are stifling ADOPTION. Just creating a great mobile application isn't enough, you have to be creative in how the market will adopt it.
That's the easy part if you can think outside the box. There are numerous mobile marketing ideas that don't require service provider participation at all, want to know what they are?
A startling revelation was discovered yesterday.
Investment, advertising and media execs revealed this finding at the Reuters Advertising and Media Summit Wednesday.
"People are spending time with their mobile device. If you look at teenagers these damn things are surgically attached to their bodies,"
The market for television and other media on mobile phones is poised for an explosion and could be a hot area for investment.
Two billion devices that be reached anytime and anywhere. What would happen if there were 2 billion TVs that were on without any advertising. Think that would represent an opportunity?
AOL officially unveiled their Mobile Search last night.
AOL says it has developed a service that will shrink the Internet to fit mobile devices with Web browsers.
AOL's Mobile Search Service automatically adapts search results and Web pages to handheld devices using content-analysis and transcoding technology from InfoGin , the companies said in a statement.
I noticed they now have sponsored links for general searches. The next thing revenue generator is a click-to-call service.
If AOL could find a way to incorporate this search in their AOL IM, they could create something big.
AOL IM, a free application, that allows communication and search abilities. What cut of the mobile marketing/advertising dollars would an SP see of that?
See why service providers need to wake up soon?
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Next, I find an application that allows me to generate revenues that both my subscribers AND advertisers could utilize.
Mobile service providers have to realize that they have an enormous untapped database that the Googles can’t touch, yet. Use that to your advantage while you still can.
Did you know there are over 3B unique web portals out there that can’t be accessed by the Explorer, Navigator, Firefox etc?
Sprint, Verizon etc have the unique ability to link 3B plus portals and generate revenues to do this.
If you told Google they could provide 3B plus sites in their database and sell advertising on them, would they find a way to tap into them?
These unique portals can:
Download a song from any CD
Register for a rebate
List allergic contents
Buy concert tickets
Put an item up on eBay
Provide bus schedule
Connect a call with a service rep
These portals will be open soon, but will the service providers be smart enough to offer it? This represents an incredible opportunity, but will they be too late?
The fear service providers should have, is a company introducing a platform that allows these portals to be accessed, while using my network. Not only am I not generating any revenues from this data application, but my backbone is being used for this. The SP provides the highway, but never collects a toll.
That’s not even the biggest problem. Once a consumer accesses these portals, a direct connection is made with a brand/advertiser, and the service provider doesn’t stand a chance at tapping into mobile marketing dollars.
There are 3 ways a SP can generate revenues from this application. Will they see it?
Here’s what I see. The closer we get to a 3rd party introducing this application on a grand scale, the service providers make a mad dash to introduce it on all of their Web enabled phones.
So service providers listen up. It’s time to put away the small- minded ringtone mentality and think big. Because if you don’t act soon, somebody else will.
In case you haven’t figured out how to get access to those portals, every packaged good has a hyperlink, you just need a camera phone.
Mobile marketing using a physical world hyperlink.
Twelve Horses and Mobile Technology Group join forces to deliver 2D tickets and coupons to mobile phones.
Delivering mobile tickets and coupons promises countless scenarios of transitioning electronic commerce and promotional relationships dependent on the desktop, laptop and landline to the mobile phone.
2D Barcodes are the Ticket to Mobile Commerce & Redemption
Built on the combined technologies of Twelve Horses and Mobile Technology Group , 2D Data Matrix barcodes can be delivered to mobile phones
Consumers can drive by a billboard, see an 800 number, call it, and start an interactive voice process to get a 2D ticket in to their phone, then drive to their favorite entertainment locations and redeem.
2D codes will be a great way to connect the physical world to the electronic world, but these must be applied to the object.
Can you think of a physical world hyperlink ALREADY on objects that can be used instead?
Want to keep up with your latest FOX TV show? Want to get Stacked behind the scenes info? Want to know about the latest FOX text game?
Through FOX Mobile you can.
1. Type 36988 (FOXTV) as the short code.
2. Enter FOX as message
3. Confirm your registration as instructed.
I expect to see other TV channels introduce this as a way to introduce mobile marketing.
FOX should do a better job of promoting this.
Overstock.com® today unveiled a new mobile commerce application called Mobile O(TM) that lets Mobile Web 2.0(SM) customers of Verizon Wireless, the nation's leading wireless service provider, browse and shop the entire Overstock.com Web site right from their wireless phones.
Mobile O was designed, developed and deployed by mRocket Inc., a leading mobile commerce solutions provider, using its patent-pending technology.
Both Moonlight Mobile and Abidia3 Wireless have introduced an application that makes eBay mobile
The new applications allow consumers to receive updated, real-time information onto their handset so they can watch, bid, buy and sell while they are on the move.
Mobile Auctions services include a scrolling ticker bar, showing the user's transaction status for live auctions and sophisticated alarm and alert settings allowing notification of bids being beaten, auctions closing and items wo
A good article about MasterCard's upcoming IPO has some impacts on the mobile phone payment industry.
Start looking for phone manufacturers and service providers getting into this space as a way to keep customers and increase their average revenue per user (ARPU).
Nokia and Motorola are testing cell phones that read RFID tags, and Japan's NTT DoCoMo Inc. plans to launch new cell phones next year that can function like credit cards, in partnership with Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, the world's largest bank.
I expected to see service providers buy into credit card companies or banks to tap into this wave. NTT DoCoMo already did.
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
I asked PP readers if they wanted me to post stories that I find of interest in other emerging technology spaces.
When I see a story this big, I look for all the players that will be associated with this application.
Technology giant 3M, which owns brands like Scotch and Post-It, also expects to launch a countrywide vehicle registration system based on Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags next month, said Jaime Ojeda, business manager of electronic vehicle registration.
3M’s technology incorporates RFID technology in sticker-like tags that would be placed on a vehicle’s windshield, as well as in reflective sheeting placed over the license plate.
Transportation departments could use the tags to monitor traffic and travel times, and vendors could use the system to accept micropayments for parking or drive-through restaurants
Monday, November 28, 2005
Several Web sites will sell the last 100 phone numbers you have dialed to anyone who knows your phone number.
The report found that sites like Locate Cell will sell the private phone numbers for about $100.
Once the fee is paid on the Web sites, anyone can get access to the phone numbers, including bank, doctor and work numbers, Local 6 News reported.
The Web sites are not illegal, according to the report.