Thursday, August 04, 2005

NTT DoCoMo Offers Physical Bookmarking

From RFID in Japan RFID "bookmarking" to be introduced in Harajuku

"physical bookmarking" represents another way to connect the physical world.

NTT DoCoMo together with a mobile marketing company TechFarm and a voluntary organization URAHARA.ORG will soon introduce RFID-based "physical bookmarking" services at the well-known Harajuku area in Tokyo.

A system called "Town Pocket" will be deployed at 153 shops including 109 apparel stores, 14 cafes and restaurants, 10 hair salons, 13 accessory shops, and 7 shoes/sports shops.

All these shops will install an RFID reader device to which customers show their wallet phones in order to "bookmark" stores. People who don't have wallet phones can also use QR codes (for camera phone users) or a special email address (if you send an empty email message to this address, you can bookmark the store).

Customers can easily access information about the bookmarked stores, including descriptions, phone numbers, hours, etc. The number of participating stores in the are is expected to increase to about 300 by September.

In November, stores will be able to distribute SMS newsletters and digital discount coupons to the customers who bookmarked them. The system may be eventually integrated with digital shopping services.

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