Friday, July 22, 2005

DoCoMo Does Physical World Connection

From Forbes.com Docomo's New Marketing Tool Uses Camera Phones, Unaltered Ads "

I knew it was just a matter of time before this happened.

NTT DoCoMo Inc. (TSE:9437) has developed a marketing tool that uses camera phones and a proprietary image recognition technique to enable a person to snap a photo of a printed ad or an outdoor signboard and receive coupons from the advertiser or link to an Internet site for more information.
Advertising linked to 2-D barcodes and digital watermarks has already been introduced as marketing tools that take advantage of Internet-capable camera phones. But DoCoMo's new system is more versatile, since nothing special needs to be done to the ad. In fact, the system can accommodate existing ads. Consumers do not have to worry about angle and alignment when snapping pictures and can even aim at faraway signboards atop buildings.

To use the system, consumers must download special software to their phones. The advertiser must have a server that stores a database of ads and a personal computer that manages the delivery of coupons and advertising information to consumers.

When a consumer shoots a photo of an ad or signboard, the phone-based software divides the image into blocks, calculates the color components of each block, and then sends this data to the server. The server compares the data against its database of pre-registered images to find a match

5 comments:

Larry said...

When I first read this as a Neomedia shareholder I thought thats a problem. Now Im not so sure. The sheer number of different ad pictures that would have to be registered for each brand verus turning on one barcode and a key word in Word Registery. I still like Paperclick.

Scott Shaffer said...

I think this will be great for mobile advertsing, however,the story doesnt mention IP. That is my concern.

I have talked about this ability a few times and have been doing plenty of research on this technology.

Part of the problem with an emerging technology is keeping your goodies hidden until you're ready to market. It gives your competition less time to find ways around your IP.

There is a fine line between promoting your service, and not giving away your ideas.

There are a couple physical world connection companies I interviewed that have some amazing stuff for image recognition.

Larry said...

I agree 100% with your assement of the IP issue. One of the problems with being a visionary such as Neomedia is keeping your finger of the trigger until the delivery vehicle is well established. The out of court settlements with Virgin and AirClic are nice but the case against Scanbuy is the big test of the strength of their IP in my opnion.

Anonymous said...

I DO NOT BELIEVE JAPAN RECOGNIZES USA PATENTS. IF THIS IS THE CASE "DOCOMO" IS UNFAIRLY USING NEOMEDIA TECHNOLOGY

Scott Shaffer said...

I think you should reread what NTT DoCoMo technology is doing, and then read what NeoMedia's IP covers.