Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Scan A Barcode With A Camera Phone Contest

From New Media The Times runs mobile barcode promotion

This is interesting. Hewlett Packard is introducing their barcode scanning technology, Active Print, as a way to win one of their Media Centre devices. And the Times is starting to offer mobile marketing. Lots of convergence here.

The Times has become one of the first media owners to run a mobile barcode marketing campaign.

The newspaper has partnered with Hewlett-Packard on a promotion that enables readers to enter a competition by 'scanning' a barcode with their camera phone.

Will The Times see this as a way to make their newspaper interactive?
Is this how all of print media becomes interactive?

To enter the competition to win an HP Media Centre, readers can either text to a shortcode in the standard manner or use their camera phones to take a picture of a printed barcode.

"This takes one click as opposed to the 16 key presses needed to enter via SMS," said Tim Kindberg, project leader at HP's Active Print, which developed the technology.

To make use of the barcode promotion, readers need to download the Active Print application, which only works on Symbian Series 60 phones. The number of people who can therefore use the barcodes means The Times promotion is being viewed as a trial.

It doesn't say how the scan will identify a winner or what happens when the barcode is scanned. But it does say one thing...the physical world is starting to get connected.


Anonymous said...

how HP can do this without licensing neomedia's patents. The interesting thing is --- is their scanning tech better, and what might that mean?

Larry said...

Well if as stated on Ihub in May 2005 Neomedia and Gravitec have a good relationship this is a very postive step.

Scott Shaffer said...

The article doesn't say what happens when you scan the barcode.

I think you're putting the cart before the horse.

Maybe they just want you to take a pic of the barcode and submit somewhere.

I will try to find out more about this contest..

This does represent a big leap for barcodes coming into the digital world though.

Larry said...

Go to this website and I think you will understand where it goes.

Scott Shaffer said...

Good find..and we have the answer.

From the site "Camera phones are used to read special printed symbols on posters, magazines, leaflets and displays, which link to on-line content, applications and services.

Try out the technology for yourself by downloading our code reading application Glass or create your own 2D barcode"

A proprietary system.."closed".

Anything that promotes physical world connection is good in my book. Nice to see a major player like Hewlett Packard behind it..

If we can just get the Google's and MSFT's to recognize how big this will be. They are too busy fighting it out in court.

Anonymous said...

But you imply that proprietary means "closed", meaning a closed network I assume. Not sure why. neomedia IP is scanning to retrieve internet content, but how are other companies addressing that? If company X allows you to scan a poster which takes you over the internet to a particular site that's not otherwise available with a traditional browser, that is still covered by the IP, right?

Scott Shaffer said...

The easiest way I have found to explain closed and open system is this.

Take a Burdines and an American Express credit card. You try to purchase goods at Burdines and both work. The Burdines card works using a closed network and Amex on an open network.

Go across the street to PF Changs and try to pay for your meal w/ Burdines card...try your Amex.

Burdines honors the transaction using their card in a Burdines store because their system recognizes their data. They also recognize Amex card along with all the other retailers.

If you still can't figure it out. Go get a Fedex package, find the code on it and ask the UPS guy to scan it..and vice versa with a UPS package.

A barcode that u find on a packaged good provides the same info to EVERYONE that scans the good. Manuf, title of good etc.

Because a 2d code in a universal database, the info on it can mean differnt things to different scanners. Why can't a Fedex guy scan a UPS package and retrieve info on it? Because their codes are proprietary (closed).

The Times could be printing their own 2d code and it will only be recognized by optical character recognition software that The Times provides. A Semacode or OP3 code reader probably wouldn't recognize it.

Another easy way to explain it.

Take a phone number lets say 555-7632. There are hundreds of people in the States and the World with that number. Add 212 there is only one person in the States, but many world-wide. Add 01 to prefix. There is only one person in the world that has that phone number 01-212-555-7632.

Anonymous said...

Yes I do get it vangorila, but put that way I think neomedia is less powerful (in potential) than some might think. if companies eventually host their mobile content in house like they do their web sites, then the 2 server bridge will not see the kind of traffic that t. smith speaks of in his teasers.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the last post comment, I think using barcodes (ie open network) is much more ubiquitous, thus more powerful (as well as less costly) than having to add a proprietary code on the package - the barcode is already on every package. Also, RFID is coming, and voice links; which are also part of NeoMedia's IP. (and once Mobot merger/acquisition is completed, Image as well.).

Anonymous said...

Plenty of places use barcodes on a closed network. Look at grocery stores, they read barcodes on a closed network. Neom's ip simply will not cover every situation. If it's cheaper to do it on a closed network than to pay license fees then that's what will happen.

Scott Shaffer said...

Youre' missing the big picture.

Who would want to turn those barcodes on? Not retailers, the brands.

I am a brand and I have a barcode on my product. I now have thousands, if not millions of hyperlinks that can connect to the website of my choosing in the physical world.

Check out how much is spent on advertising on the Internet and through print. Then come back to me with your statement.