Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Barcode SMS

SMS Warehouse announced this week they have formed an alliance with the Mobile Tech Alliance (MBTA) in Germany.

Instead of scanning a barcode for a direct connection, think of this as barcode creation for mobile applications.

The aim of the MBTA is to bring various high end advanced technologies to the market place world wide servicing a wide spectrum of customers from corporate clients to governments

What is mobile bar coding?

Mobile bar coding takes place when a bar code in the form of a picture SMS is delivered to a mobile phone. Recipients save the image, arrive at the destination and present their bar code SMS to be scanned.


Propriety printed media:

Use mobile bar coding as business cards, tickets (e-ticketing), billing, coupons, gift certificates and more.

(In my opinion there's a billion dollar service that could be launched from mobile coupons. Here's the Pondering Primate Possibility.

Create an application/software that allows me to take a picture of ANY coupon barcode, log it in a directory and allow machines at any retailer to scan my phone in seconds for all available coupons). The machine at the store would have to read the coupons fast and all at once. The last thing I want is to piss off the people behind me if I can't even tell what coupons I have.

Think of how much more use coupons would get then. "Hey I'll click on any product coupon I already use, and it's like found money". The key is to make scanning ALL of the stored barcode coupons FAST. Think it flies?

Mobile advertising of products:Discount vouchers on beverages, CD's, books, games and more. Client presents his mobile phone at pay point - bar code is scanned and discount processed.

Mobile bar coding during events:Ease the administration tasks during events - whether it is a cycle race, running event or conference. Example: Delegates sign up and pay online via a web site. As confirmation they receive a barcode on their mobile. The delegate save the file on their phones and produce it upon registration at the event.

Mobile bar coding used for public transport:Users purchase a month ticket - they receive a barcode on their mobile phones which they save - every time they enter the bus their phone is scanned and the trip deducted from the month ticket.

Barcodes are sent with technology known as EMS so the handset do not have to MMS capable.

SMS Warehouse has some other great services like Picture SMS, SMS messenger, PC to mobile, MMS push/pull


Anonymous said...

Gee....Is there a company that makes bar codes that print money, or, is there a company that makes money printing bar codes?

Anonymous said...

The real issue is not technical its a business issue. Sending a bar code to a phone is not difficult.

The issue is in who pays for the reader. Surely you dont believe that the currently installed base of infrared scanners could read a low illum mobile screen do you? So who pays for this piece of technology, The merchant? Doubtful. The consumer? Are you gonna pay extra to use it? Or maybe its the advertisers..but then how do you collect beforehand. And even if you could do it still wont fly unless the current coupon companies decide to do it because the industry requires 3 way verification. Better go back to the drawing board on that one my friend.

SMS warehouse said...

The bar codes sent to mobile phones are read by standard scanners in retail stores. That is just the beaut of it.

There are three bar code options available based on the type of scanner that is used: 1D (most basic scanner), 2D (standard bar codes you see on products) and PDF 417 type bar codes.

We are able to deliver it to mobile phones with SMS, EMS or MMS technology.

There are not many companies that could do that. I cannot say to much about the new developments but we are working on increased security on one of the barcode types.

Currently under testing is bar code scanners in South Africa where the most basic scanners are used in retail stores. said...

The SMS-Barcode technology know-how, which largely works on the SMS/EMS platform, is essential to launch such a service.

Also, certainly has a billion dollar potential in short to medium term.

A few important aspects that would drive the growth of barcode service:
1. Create Consumer pull (new age marketers love this technology) Barcode SMS gives marketers a great opportunity to create excitement amongst target audience. Barcode information creates excitement. Unlike a plain vanilla text SMS stating ‘you are entitled to 25% off on all range of perfumes in the store’, the barcode SMS raises the curiosity levels as the offer/discount is unknown. The new age marketing professionals are going to drive the use of this technology big time.

2. Cost reduction (CFO’s choice) The cost of logistics including printing cost, distribution cost and cost related to non-delivery or loss of physical tickets of conventional system is huge. Mobile barcodes overcome all of such costs as the only cost is ticket delivery cost, which is very little, thanks to the competition amongst service providers and mobile operators across the globe.

3. Integration with legacy systems (Hassle-free for the IT expert) As the barcode on mobile phones are the same as those in the physical form - the key aspect will be its ease of use with legacy systems. Those solutions that have the ability to seamlessly get integrated with legacy back-end systems will be used a lot to the extent of almost replacing the physical tickets in many verticals.

One caveat is that the barcode technology does not work on all phones/PDAs. For example, high-end phones/PDAs such as SPV’s M 1000 or low-end phones, which do not support picture messaging, do not support the technology. Hence, the customers are required to do some additional work of identifying phone/PDA models before sending barcode SMS. Therefore, the barcode technology is unlikely to replace the physical tickets/coupons but will strongly complement it to the extent of becoming the primary mode of delivery of tickets/coupons in 2 to 3 years from now.

Best regards,
Vijay Shukla,

Scott Shaffer said...

Thanks for the input.

One thing I enjoy about this blog is gaining insight from the people in the know.

Anonymous said...

I'm a little late on this one. There's great potential for barcode in/barcode out solutions exploiting the installed POS infrastructure base, and this is a short term route to increased usage of mobiles as a smart wallet. In the longer term I see the real winner being a combination of reading barcodes/images on the device, delivery of coupons/tix etc. with interrogation of the customer's "database" of these items by POS devices via cheap wireless eg. RFID? As Scott says, being able to scan for coupons quickly allows retailers to find the relevant coupon. Might the retailer also be interested in what other coupons are on the device, and have/have not been redeeemed?!

Anonymous said...

Do you know who are the companies that lead this sector of sending barcode by SMS?

Ohad peri

Scott Shaffer said...

Mobile Coupons

There are a few others that haven't publicly announced their abillity yet.

Ron said...

We have been developing 5 years on a reader/scanner for scanning Barcodes from LCD phone screens on a readrate of 98% under all circumstances (without backlight too). This is not easy like Annonymous said and only mastered by 2 to 3 companies in the world.

Sending a barcode to a phone is not easy like assumed here too.

This reversed PWC business models are interesting because it requires no instalation of any program, no setting up anything then just have a EMS, MMS or Picture SMS enabled phone. So this is PWC business of today.

Prices of readers/scanners and the lack of validation units have been a real show stopper over the years but things are changing.

Biggest thread is that every company who looks at this gets confused by NFC. For this reason we decided to make validators for 1D- and 2D barcodes on paper and LCD but also integrate optional RFID readers.

Ron Verweij
Chief Innovation Manager of Mbarc

Scott Shaffer said...

Mbarc's website


Hong Xiaowan said...

I can do barcode.
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