Friday, December 29, 2006
Each one of us has a few natural form physical world hyperlinks (PWH). A PWH is some machine readable identifier that when scanned and matched up in a database on the Internet, identifies a specific person, or object.
When an item is scanned and identified in a supermarket, that is a closed from of physical world connection. The magnetic strip on your credit card or license is a physical world hyperlink.
Soon instead of just a 1D barcode, there will be other PWHs (2D code, QR code, RFID tag) on physical objects that will allow mobile phones to scan, identify from a universal database, and retrieve information from the Net.
There's a good chance at least 2 of your own PWH are already in a database and being used.
This is one example of a natural physical world hyperlink.
Use another natural physical world hyperlink to pay for your groceries.
There is at least one man-made physical world hyperlink and these guys are developing it.
The biggest, and the most identifiable, will eventually have multiple machine readable identifiers for it. Know what it is?
The "Internet of Things" doesn't just include inanimate objects.
The Next Generation of the Net, or Phase 2, is when every object has a dial tone and can be connected to the Internet. The mobile phone and other devices will provide the dial tone, but the fun will be in identifying the hyperlink.
So do you know how many PWH you have?
Thursday, December 28, 2006
Here are some of my thoughts on what I think, (throw in a little hope), will happen for the coming New Year.
By this time next year:
1. SMS Portal
A clear SMS portal emerges. Like Google has established itself as "the" search engine for the PC, there will be a "find" engine for the mobile. Subsequently, the "shortcode" takes on a greater role for ALL forms of advertising.
2. 2D Code Service
Google or Yahoo (maybe even AOL gets creative) introduces a 2d code (QR code) generating application and finds a way to monetize it's use.
3. Apple Phone
The Apple Phone debuts and Apple creates a mobile marketing powerhouse.
Somebody buys this company out. In my opinion, they could play a big role in the Next Generation of the Net.
5. New PWC Player
A new physical world connection player with a powerful platform gets added to the list .
6. Wireless Carrier adopts PWC
At least one of the U.S. Physical World Connection players gets their platform adopted by a major carrier. This one really isn't a prediction because I know this to be true shortly.
7. A PWC Buyout
At least two companies on the Physical World Connection list get bought out.
8. Venture Capitalists Target PWC
The "Internet of Things", or Physical World Connection becomes the next hot area for VC money.
9. Google Phone
By this time next year, the buzz will be about the upcoming Google Phone and at least one US carrier will be offering it. There will be screen shots, and leaks about the applications on it that will have the tech world awaiting its arrival.
And the "it could happen" one for the year....
10. Microsoft buys Yahoo
In an effort to take on Google, Microsoft buys Yahoo.
Which one(s) are likely, and which ones are pie in the sky?
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Imagine what happens when mobile phones can scan an RFID tag.
From Engadget Fujitsu unveils GPS receiver with integrated RFID tag
While we've got both GPS receivers and RFID tags handling very important duties around the world, Fujitsu has gone and unveiled a GPS unit with built-in RFID capabilities to provide the best of both worlds.
The Tag Locator V2 sports the locating abilities we've come to know and love, promising accurate longitude / latitude measurements between "three and five meters, and bundles in an active RFID tag that operates on the 429MHz frequency band. Once the GPS receiver beams out the location data, the device then communicates the RFID information via "a unique ID," and can purportedly channel its data to any reader within 200 meters.
Designed primarily to provide constant streams of precise data in airports, garages, and other locales that manage a plethora of equipment / vehicles (or lucrative PS3 boxes), the units should hit shipyards soon at ¥20,000 ($169) a pop.
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
A couple years ago I introduced Robert Scoble, Microsoft's Chief Evangelist, to the concept of physical world connection and after a live demonstration, he called it "the next killer app". Today the Head of Biz Dev at Microsoft files it under "the Next Big Thing".
I dont think there's any doubt thatPhysical World Connection is coming.
Don Dodge, Director of Business Development for Microsoft's Emerging Business Team has put together his list of 2007 Predictions for Web and Software on his blog called "The Next Big Thing"
He considers "Mobile Web" as one of the top 5 hot areas and under "Mobile Search", a multi billion dollar opportunity, Don suggests ScanBuy as a company to watch.
Scanbuy just recently completed a $9m raise from Longworth. Masthead and Hudson.
It doesn't hurt that they have the previous CEO of barnesandnoble.com steering the ship either.
Microsoft is recognizing the potential for Scanbuy's applications but is Google already looking at Scanbuy?
I will be posting my physical world connection predictions for 2007 shortly.
Cellit, LLC announced today its landmark agreement with Cinema Screen Media, LLC (CSM) to provide mobile marketing services to CSM’s clients.
CSM’s on-screen advertisers will now be able to incorporate text messaging features into their pre-movie slideshow display, creating innovative, interactive promotions. CSM will start offering these services in the Phoenix metro area, while planning for a national roll-out.
Using Cellit’s technology, moviegoers can interact with specific promotions showcased in the pre-movie slideshow. By texting the advertiser’s selected keyword to a special 5-digit phone number included in the pre-movie slideshow, the audience can obtain additional product information, text their vote on a topic, or participate in games and contests.
The advertiser can also better understand advertising effectiveness through using different “text in” keywords in different theaters or in different ads.
Two questions I have.
Is there a strong enough cell signal in most theaters for this to work. (Did they test strength?)
How do they make sure response text messages aren't sent during the movie?
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
The RFID market has passed through the hype stage and is now coming of age in the channel, according to a Victorian pioneer in the technology.
"The real opportunity in the channel is around asset management because it's a closed system," Unique Micro Design's Geoffrey Ramadan said. "Supply chain, meanwhile, has a more collaborative nature and you really need a mandate to push it through the supply chain.
"The mobile phone is converging into a general access terminal and there are a number of new compact devices coming out with bar-coding, GPRS, GPS, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth that are going to be very versatile."
Ramadan predicted 2007 would be the year of mobility and ubiquitous computing and that RFID would take on a significant role.
NearbyNow, Inc. today announced the availability of its new mobile search service that allows consumers to find any product, brand or sale in a shopping mall simply by sending a text message.
By typing their request into their mobile phone, consumers can easily find the nearest store that sells “skinny jeans” or “men’s shoes on sale”.
How does it work? Shoppers find out about the service via instructions posted on the mall directory and throughout the mall.
For example, at the Westfield Valley Fair mall, signs say “text ‘VF’ to the short code ‘NEARBY’ (632729) to search this mall for any product, brand, or sale.” Next, consumers can:
• Type in any brand or product to see which stories carry it. For example, “men’s shoes,” “Nike Air Jordans,” or “baby clothes on sale.”
• Get a reply with (1) how many stores carry the item, and (2) the 3-4 most popular matches.
• If a coupon is available, the shopper can get additional information about the coupon (and have the mall concierge print a copy).
• Included with shoppers’ search results are sponsored messages such as sale notifications and “blue light specials”.
This new mobile service extends NearbyNow’s existing "proximity search" capabilities, which make geographic areas – such as shopping malls – 100% searchable down to every product, brand, and service
Monday, December 18, 2006
From Mass. High Tech Sopranos help Mobot whack NeoMedia deal
After being acquired by Florida's NeoMedia Technologies Inc. for $10 million in cash and stock earlier in the year, the original founders of Mobot Inc. in Lexington bought the company back last week.
With the spinout completed, Mobot this week reports its mobile visual search and recognition technology will help power the new scavenger-hunt-style interactive game from A&E Television Network, called The Sopranos A&E Connection.
Financial terms of the A&E deal were not provided. But it represents the first breath of Mobot's new life after NeoMedia's failed attempts to parlay the technology into a driving force in mobile Internet applications as it had planned, according to NeoMedia.
Mobot executives say the whole process was a blessing in disguise, and they are ready to move on.
Interesting comment from Mobot's CEO.
"We're very fortunate to be in this position," said Russell Gocht. "The mobile market is expanding and the opportunities are growing, and we're free from the questions about our future. We're really rejuvenated."
Sunday, December 17, 2006
Google recognizes one key thing, Mobile Search is really Mobile info
The Observer has a story about Google holding talks with Orange, the mobile phone operator, about a multi-billion-dollar partnership to create a 'Google phone'
It would have built-in Google software which would dramatically improve on the slow and cumbersome experience of surfing the web from a mobile handset.
Among the potential benefits are location-based searches: aware of your handset's geographical position.
Tony Cooper, a telecoms consultant at Deloitte, said: 'There are numerous situations in which people say "I wish I had Google in my hand",
What will Google Mobile look like?
Just some of the applications and revenue opportunities that will come with this device...
Google SMS Words
Google mobile marketing
Google mobile ads
Google mobile words
Google QR Codes
How will Google make a googl with the Google Phone?
Friday, December 15, 2006
If you have ever used the U.S. Patent site you will find that Google Patent Search is much easier to use.
No ads appear on search results, but I think this search application will get lots of traffic going forward with The New American Business Model
Great find from C Enrique Ortiz at the Mobility Weblog
Thursday, December 14, 2006
mob5 and ShotCode join forces
Mob5.com is the largest Nordic mobile website creator and now they have expanded their offering by simply allowing their users to create ShotCodes.
Download the ShotCode reader.
Currently mob5.com serves several thousand mobile webpages and the numbers are increasing rapidly. All you have to do is visit mob5.com and create your own mobile webpage, the interaction design is simple and intuitive as is the creation of your own ShotCode. Just check out the menu item in the editor menu and your own personal ShotCode is only one click away.
This comes shortly after ShotCodes were launched on 40 million Sprite bottles in Mexico.
40 million physical world hyperlinks is a great start for adoption, and letting users create their own code is another.
It's time to officially add Microsoft to the Physical World Connection list with this announcement.
While Google is focusing on creating content, what about the content that already exists?
Microsoft is offering the ability to create AND link to new and existing "content", the physical world.
Google is concentrating on the PC world, Mister Softee recognizes the big opportunity lies with the mobile because there will be more mobile phones with Internet access than PCs.
Because Microsoft's AURA provides the ability to connect the billions of physical world hyperlinks that ALREADY exist (instead of creating new 2D codes, QR codes), this application could tip the playing field for the mobile marketing space.
The camera and RFID scanner on your mobile phone are your "mouse" and every physical object has, or will have, a physical world hyperlink, Phase 2 of the Internet begins.
In October, Microsoft disrupted the Physical World Connection space when they unveiled their beta 2D Code application called Windows Live Barcode that allows users to create their own 2D code and connect various physical objects to the Internet. Just install decoder software on handsets and capture QR Code via a built-in camera
Today Microsoft yakes another big step to dominate the Physical World Connection space and is allowing people with Windows Mobile operating system to download Advanced User Resource Annotation (AURA).
The big news here is that Microsoft is offering the ability to connect with both a 1D (bar code) and 2D code (physical world hyperlinks). 1D codes are already on billions of products, 2D codes are rapidly becoming the standard for many industries.
Physical world hyperlinks are being called The Next Big Internet Trend
People with an AURA-enabled device would use its digital camera to snap the bar code on a product.
AURA then would deliver several links and search results about the item to the handheld computer. A consumer might learn whether the same product is available for a lower price elsewhere, for example, or whether the item was manufactured in a country with controversial labor practices.
Microsoft is now providing the "dial tone" and Internet access for billions of products. The mobile marketing applications are endless.
Download the AURA Mobile Client
Marc Smith, a researcher in Microsoft's community technologies group, acknowledges that "history is littered with efforts in this regard. This is not really a brand new idea at all."
He cites, for example, failed devices such as the CueCat, which could read bar codes in newspapers and magazines and send their users' PCs directly to affiliated Web pages.
Complimenting the ability to scan/connect the physical world hyperlinks 1D code and 2D codes, Microsoft is developing an RFID browser and an application to connect images Photo2Search . Photo2Search gives users a way to search a Web-based database by using nothing more than an image captured by a cellphone equipped with a digital camera.
There are many other physical world hyperlinks that will allow a mobile device to scan and connec to the Internet. One that is used everyday is the fingerprint.
While Google has made some progress in the physical world connection space, Microsoft continues to offer applications for the next Phase of the Internet, a much bigger one.
If I was Google, want to know what I would do?
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
From Packaging Essentials CounterFight..New Division To Provide Brand Protection
Claricom Limited (UK), world market leader in the provider of Package Coding Management ( PCM) systems has launched a product security and brand protection division CounterFight.
The CounterFight products use proven and patented technology to print unique non-sequential security codes onto every product at item level and at case or traded unit level. Typically printed as a simple human readable code (although barcode and 2D barcode versions can also be specified), the numbers can then be checked and verified at any time and in any place by authorized users via phone, SMS-text message or the Internet.
Unique security codes can be automatically generation and printed online at production speeds of up to 1,500 items per minute and the unique correlation between the codes on items and case make it unviable for would be counterfeiters to replicate.
Whenever verification of a unique CounterFight code takes place either by the Internet, SMS messaging or telephone, then information about this verification is stored in a secure database
Gentag, Inc. is pleased to announce the issuance of Patent 7,148,803 entitled "Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Based Sensor Networks."
Gentag is on the list.
This broad patent covers the uses of personal wireless devices such as cell phones, PDAs, and laptops as low-cost wireless readers for RFID sensors and the creation of RFID-sensor networks for consumer, industrial, and government applications.
This patent provides the basis for the creation of the next generation wireless technology, combining low-cost wireless readers in the hands of the consumers, wireless networks, geolocation, and disposable wireless sensors for various market applications. The emergence of near field communications (NFC) will accelerate the availability of RFID cell phones, thereby accentuating the importance of the patent.
Gentag has patented the revolutionary concept of using a cell phone as a universal reader for disposable wireless sensors.
The powerful combination of Gentag's patented cell phone-sensor reader technology with Gentag's disposable wireless sensor platform will enable a multitude of innovative applications, providing consumers with easy and instant access to vital information over established wireless networks, the Internet and client-specific databases
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
I have talked about Scanbuy numerous times and their application that allows a camera phone to link to the Internet via 2d bar code. Two major announcements today in the PWC space have me wondering if a clear leader is emerging.
Scanbuy, Inc. , a global provider of wireless commerce solutions, today announced the recent hiring of industry veteran Jonathan Bulkeley as Chief Executive Officer. The company also announced that it completed $9 million in Series B financing. Longworth Venture Partners, Masthead Venture Partners and Hudson Venture Partners led the round, with participation from existing angel investors.
Bulkeley was previously the CEO of barnesandnoble.com, growing sales from $71 million to over $200 million, and overseeing its IPO, which at the time was the largest Internet IPO in history. Prior to bn.com, Bulkeley served as Managing Director of AOL's joint venture with Bertelsmann Online in the U.K. and as AOL’s Vice President of Business Development in the U.S
Bulkeley currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Readers Digest Association, and Spark Networks, PLC. He also served on the Board of Directors of IGN Entertainment which was sold to News Corporation last year.
The funds will escalate growth of Scanbuy’s go-to-market efforts, extend its standard 1D and 2D bar code technology leadership in mobile marketing
Opposite directions? ........
Scanbuy's announcement comes on the same day that the other major U.S. Physical World Connection player NeoMedia Technologies, announces that their CEO, President and Board member Charles Jensen resigned.
The company also announced a series of cost-cutting measures, including across-the-board salary reductions for the company's senior-level executives.
Going on 3 years, NeoMedia has been involved in a patent infringment suit against Scanbuy.
"We are seeing huge growth in the mobile marketing arena worldwide and Scanbuy is the clear leader in making it easy for consumers to fully utilize these enhanced services via their wireless phones," said Steve Smith of Masthead Venture Partners.
"We are thrilled to have Jonathan Bulkeley leading the Scanbuy team. His experience, vision and credibility are exactly what the company and the industry need to bring this technology to the mass market," said Nilanjana Bhowmik, partner at Longworth Venture Partners.
It appears there has been a dramatic shift in the physical world connection playing field.
The ponder in me wonders if innovation instead of litigation would have allowed quicker adoption.
Now, we are finally about to put Nokia's Barcode Reader application under N80 and N73 support pages, and to the Download! client. In addition, the app should be in the latest N93 firmware in all variants.
I wanted to publish this post on the day that the app becomes available, but I'll be on vacation during 13-26 December. I hope the app becomes available during this time.
Lots of great reading and links in this, even a couple contributions from The Pondering Primate.
I called it the Physical World Hyperlink Chip
Developed in HP Labs Bristol, U.K., the chip provides high storage capacity and bandwidth comparable to standard RFID tags. The tiny chip can be stuck on or embedded in almost any object and make available information and content now found mostly on electronic devices or the Internet
Info on Chemicals has a nice summary on the history of RFID and the upcoming role an RFID tag will play in the Internet of Things.
RFID is an infrastructure technology, which will have a impact on almost every business process. However RFID is still a new technology, and thus we are waiting to see where it will lead in many applications.
But to speak only about RFID in terms of supply chain is to miss the point.
Emerging technologies: sensors, (mots or smart dust), Nanotechnology and community-wide wireless broadband, GPS, are changing the landscape for business applications and life style generally.
Some argue that this is the biggest technological transformation of the 21st Century. It will transform our Cities, our work processes and our lives.
A number of RFID applications are actually enabling cyberspace to interface with the real world ie Physical World Connection.
Visionary Innovations identifies companies that will play a key role in this transformation. Will your company play a role in it, let us know.
Friday, December 08, 2006
From CreativeMac Cellpoint and PixelPlay offer interactive TV with SMS
Cellpoint Mobile and PixelPlay teamed up to launch a Short Message Service sweepstakes on EchoStar Communications' DishGAMES interactive-TV channel.
DishGAMES is powered by PixelPlay's interactive-TV technology, and Cellpoint is a provider of user-oriented mobile services.
The sweepstakes will enable DishGAMES players to "text-in and win" one of three Apple Computer iPod Nanos, with winners notified via text message. In return, PixelPlay will acquire the capability to alert players through SMS of future game releases, new sweepstakes offerings and promotions
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
How many times has your lottery rolled over to $30m, $50m etc and you felt like buying 5 lottery tickets just because. When you saw the lines at the ticket counter you felt it wasn't worth the wait.
Wait no more, buy lottery tickets via SMS with WagerPhone
New Wave Mobile is pleased to announce its 100% acquisition of WagerPhone.
WP is focused on providing National and State lotteries with the ability to extend their services. WP solutions will provide consumers with a number of convenient and non-time-consuming methods to purchase lottery tickets, scratch cards and more through the utilization of extensible channels of sales and distribution:
SMS solutions enable people to purchase lottery tickets and play their favorite numbers games via Text Message anytime anywhere.
If WagerPhone charged $1 every time you purchased tickets would you use it?
How much bigger could the PowerBall lottery be if this was allowed?
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
From Fendi handbags to Rolex watches, counterfeits or “knock offs” are commonplace. Why should cigars be different?
The new technology stamped onto Cusano cigar boxes features a dot-matrix design and unique number that works like a bar code and returns sales information to the company.
A box can only be scanned once and bogus boxes cannot be scanned, alerting the customer that something’s amiss.
Monday, December 04, 2006
There's another bar code, optical character recognition (OCR) via camera phone reading application in town that is creating truly valuable physical world connection applications.
Add MobileAMA to the physical world connection list.
Mobile AMA (www.mobileama.com) is the commercialization arm of Applied Media Analysis, which has done years of Research and Development on mobile devices for the government. Some valuable everyday applications include interpreting foreign languages, scanning business cards, reading medication, shopping information.
Their patent-ready mobile vision technology, a computer vision technology which allows camera-enabled handheld devices, such as PDAs and Smartphones, to read and see, AMA products turn users’ camera phones into personal data scanners.
MobileVision creates an opportunity to build applications which link the existing physical world to mobile content. This platform enables devices to recognize barcodes and other language characters, such as the information printed on signs, business cards, or other text.
Applied Media Analysis company, announced today the launch of V-Code (Video Code), a product that allows data transfer to camera phones through a dynamic visual code.
In Asia nearly 80% of cell phone users use QR Codes regularly to link to web addresses or phone numbers, however QR Codes are limited by the amount of information they contain. V-Codes allow users to download large files presented visually on any TV, monitor, flat panel device, LCD, CRT, or movie screen.
See the Demo
Based on our patented MobileVision technology, a computer vision technology which allows camera-enabled handheld devices, such as PDAs and Smartphones, to read and see, MobileAMA products turn user's camera phones into personal data scanners
This is nice to see. Look how they started this.
AMA has been awarded seven grants from the government under the highly competitive Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program. Millions of dollars in Phase I and Phase II awards helped build AMA’s proprietary information and intellectual property. A Government funded a physical world connection player.
They have also completed several different research and development projects for clients such as DARPA and the Department of Defense
MobileAMA has also developed a patent pending Mobile Barcode SDK as a platform-independent, compact 1D barcode decoding development toolkit.
Their highly accurate multi-platform Mobile Barcode Reader can be integrated into most major mobile platforms including Windows Mobile, Symbian, and Palm. The Mobile Barcode Reader is a cost effective way to convert your camera phone into a barcode scanner
The Physical World Web is when any object can be linked to the Internet. There is a difference between machines and objects that are continuously connected to the Net, they are already "online". The other form of PWC is when objects can be randomly connected to the Net. It is almost like giving a physical object a dialtone.
PWC was recently referred to as One Hot Trend
"Thing Connection" is when anywhere, anytime, anything can be connected through the Internet. All physical objects must have a physical world hyperlink (PWH) in order to link to the Internet. Websites have hyperlinks that when a mouse clicks on them, they resolve all of those letters as a Web address, and you are directed to that address.
Physical objects will have a different kind of hyperlink, that will allow connection to the Internet and specific information. Physical world "mouses" can be on mobile phone, camera phone, an RFID reader, fingerprint scanner (a few others to come soon).
Try to think of Physical World Connection as giving any physical object a dial tone and a phone number.
What is a physical world hyperlink?
Physical World hyperlinks include: RFID tags, numbers, bar coded, 2d codes (2d/QR/ Data Matrix), magnetic strips, images, sounds, fingerprints, iris, and hair/blood/saliva, odor, chemical and a few soon to come.
When a machine readable identifier resolves this object with a Web-enabled computing device you have Phase 2 of the Internet.
The most common examples are scanning a bar code (2d code, QR code) via a camera phone and receiving information.
The other is scanning an RFID tag.
This is a list of the companies that could play a role in this space.
I will have current examples of PWC, and some futuristic ideas shortly.
Why do I think The Next Google is this application? Google is so successful because they offer the ability to find anything on the Internet which consists of billions of websites.
The next Google is an application that allows a mobile user to access information on the Net from trillions of physical objects.
I will have current examples of PWC, and some futuristic ideas shortly.
Friday, December 01, 2006
Verisign has been granted permission to continue running the ".com" registry, and they will also manage the directory for looking up EPC numbers (RFID tags) on the Internet.
Verisign has developed an "EPC Explorer" for Windows and Microsoft is already developing an RFID Browser
I wonder, will Verisign be in charge of the registry for all physical world hyperlinks? When every physical object can be linked to the Internet, it will have its own unique IP address. Who will provide the registry for this?
RFID tags are one type of physical world hyperlink, 2d codes (QR code, data matrix) are another and will soon be linking physical objects to the Net.
Because there are so many companies that offer 2d code creating services, what this industry needs is a standard.
Could Verisign create the ".com" for 2d codes, and other players will be the ".orgs, .info, .nets?".
From Reuters Verisign wins US approval for ".com"
The U.S. Department of Commerce has approved a deal that allows Verisign Inc. to continue running the lucrative ".com" Internet registry through 2012, the company said on Thursday.
Verisign has operated the dot-com registry that allows private companies to register domain names since 1999 under a contract granted from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).
When Verisign acquired m-Qube, they opened a variety of possibilities for mobile marketing, m-commerce and physical world connection.
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
With nearly 3 billion mobile phone subscribers in the world expected by the end of 2007, Google sees great potential for extending its presence throughout the world using the mobile platform, said Deep Nishar, director of product management for Google.
When you're on your mobile device and you type in the keyword "movie," you're likely searching for a movie theater because you want to go see a movie.
the next step is to interact with advanced cell phone technology, like Global Positioning Systems or GPS, so that the device knows where you are.
In my opinion, location coordinates will be the new keywords for mobile.
The word pizza or movie will have more value (foot and web traffic) with a NYC coordinate, and Google should be able to charge accordingly.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
ALONG Mobile Technologies Inc. , a leading provider of wireless interactive entertainment products and services in China, is pleased to announce its cooperation with Gmedia to achieve the purpose of expanding its marketing strategy.
Gmedia recently announced mobile bar code scanning with China Mobile. It sure is nice to have a wireless carrier promote a bar code scanning application instead of having a portal or brand do the heavy lifting.
Gmedia establishes nationwide sales channel for 2D barcode while China Mobile enables the decoder software installed in the mobile phone.
Holding 6 pending patents in mobile barcode technologies, Gmedia pioneers the cross media marketing innovations which enable the barcode visitor tracking so that the ad effect can be measured and personalized marketing can be realized. Clients include brands such as Dell ,IBM ,VW Volvo , and Citroen advertisers and SMEs who use the 2D barcode in their print ad, brochure, posters, packaging, business card, etc to get the customer interaction through mobile phone.
4INFO and Gannett saw the potential.Gannett liked the idea so much they took an investment stake in 4INFO.
Cox and CellSigns are now seeing it with Cellifieds.
Did Yahoo miss the potential mobile marketing opportunity with 176 newspapers? Atlanta Journal Constitution was one of the papers Yahoo signed a print advertising deal with and yet they are using Cellsigns for their mobile marketing platform.
CellSigns, Inc., the premier provider of interactive mobile messaging and enterprise mobile applications, today announced an agreement with Cox Newspapers, Inc, one of the nation’s foremost newspaper publishing enterprises with 17 daily and 25 non-daily papers, including news sites affiliated with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (ajc.com); Austin American-Statesman (Statesman.com); Dayton Daily News (daytondailynews.com); and The Palm Beach Post (PalmBeachPost.com).
The agreement provides Cox Newspapers with custom interactive mobile application services for its newspapers’ classified sites.
Cellifieds is a mobile search tool that takes a publisher's classifieds and makes them searchable by keyword and/or classified ad ID# on 97% of all cell phones.
See the demo
Yahoo just announced a deal to provide Internet advertising for some of these same newspapers. Did Yahoo not see the mobile marketing opportunity for these 176 newspapers?
PalmBeachPost.com users are able to request information on classified ads such as homes, autos and other advertising content simply by texting specific codes or using a natural language search to access the information on their mobile device. They will then receive a message via SMS with the classified ad information including pictures when available or contact the seller directly with a click to call.
When will Google introduce their SMS portal and start selling short codes, or LINK words?
Monday, November 27, 2006
This application allows any QR code (physical world hyperlink) on any physical object, to be connected to the Internet. If phones will be coming with 2d code scanning preinstalled (a commodity), then the value lies in the creative functions for them.
What company has the ability to link literally millions of QR codes to targeted websites overnight?
From Slashphone 2 million MOTOMING units shipped in China
The latest refresh of MOTOMING features all the superior functions that have made it a winner in the industry, but also includes a few new surprises inside. At the top of the list is a new push-email feature that is compliant with China Mobile’s service, enabling phone users to have emails delivered directly to their MOTOMING, rather than having to retrieve them.
China Mobile just introduced a QR code mobile campaign
Other additions include built in “Air-Sync,” making the MOTOMING capable of synching with Microsoft Exchang® for easy organization, and built-in QR Code software, which greatly simplifies the task of making entries into the handset’s address book and WAP sites.
These guys are one step away from physical world connection domination.
Nokia already has a deal with Google and China Mobile.
QR codes will replace keywords for mobile marketing.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
All of the focus with Yahoo Print stories this week has been on the effects it could have on the newspaper industry, but did you ever think what it could do Yahoo's mobile advertising?
I don't think people are seeing the real convergence that is taking place.
TEXT keywords will allow advertisers to place a word or code on every print ad, that when sent to 92466 (YAHOO) as a text message, targted information or URL will sent back to consumer.
I called them LINK words for the Internet, but TEXT keywords seems appropriate for the the print industry.
Can Yahoo generate even more revenue by selling an advertiser a TEXT keyword to be included in their print ad?
Every classifed , real estate listing, personal ad, local merchant and regular print ad could include their TEXT keyword. Instead of the usual "go to www. ", a simple TEXT keyword will allow a consumer to be directed to a specific site, or receive information.
When Yahoo announced a partnership for classified advertising with a group of 176 newspapers, I could see where this will leads to. Gannet, owner of USA Today newspaper saw a great opportunity with 4INFO
Under the deal announced Monday, seven companies that collectively publish daily papers in 38 states are betting Yahoo's technological prowess and huge Internet audience will help them turn online advertising into a lucrative opportunity instead of a dire financial threat.
A physical world hyperlink provides the ability to link a physical object (magazine, can of Coke) with information or a Web address when the camera on a mobile phone resolves the image.
Clicking or scanning the image acts like clicking a hyperlink with your computer mouse.
Using a PWH, every object can be "connected" to the Internet, and this will lead to the Internet of Things
RL Digital has a nice summary about how QR Codes could be the next big Internet trend
A QR Code (QR = Quick Response) is a two-dimensional bar code introduced by the Japanese company Denso-Wave in 1994. QR Codes were originally developed for inventory tracking in auto manufacturing. They are the most popular type of two-dimensional code in Japan.
Some of the more popular 2d code providers
Recently, mobile telephone operators in Japan began including QR code reading software on camera phones. This move has paved the way for consumer-oriented applications of QR Codes. Users photograph QR codes. Then, their camera phone decodes the embedded text, displays, manipulates, and stores the information. This capability eliminates the need to enter data manually into a mobile phones or PDA.
According to Wikipedia , “QR Code is open in the sense that the specification of QR Code is disclosed and that the patent right owned by Denso Wave is not exercised.” — from the Denso-Wave website.
A complete listing of the companies that have technologies for the "Next Internet".
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
From A Bugged Life Mobile Phillipines debuts TMS tag
This is also the first magazine to feature a TMS tag prominently on the front cover. Is this the advent of physical world connectivity in the Philippines? The era of the QR code has begun!
An American company is providing the platform for this physical world connection service and should be announcing this shortly.
Download the application for your phone here
Are you looking at the girl or the code?
Let's call it the Physical World Web 2.0
We will soon be in the middle of a blizzard of tiny computers embedded into everyday items and constantly talking to each other.
Welcome to the so-called 'internet of things' which will replace today's internet of people and data. Everyday items from TVs to toothbrushes, sports equipment and even buildings will have in-built computing power and wireless that will allow them to communicate and share information.
Robin Mannings, BT futurologist and research foresight manager said: "The idea of having technology in everyday objects isn't a pipedream - it's the next evolution of the internet."
He told silicon.com: "RFID is just the tip of the iceberg and the iceberg is ubiquitous computing - more or less everything being a computer."
What will all of these items need? A physical world hyperlink
Will Microsoft generate revenue by offering Mobile Words? Or will Google link mobile keywords to specific sites
From LiveSide Windows Live Mobile launches SMS Search
The Windows Live Mobile team have launched a new SMS search service that provides Cingular, Verizon, Sprint Nextel and Alltel subscribers SMS access to Windows Live Search results. (US only curently).
Send a simple text message to 95483 (WLIVE)* and get the answers you want when you want them.
Other search functions include reverse phone number lookup, stock quotes, area and country telephone codes, holiday dates, and solutions to maths calculations. Full instructions on how to use this service are available on the team blog or you can visit the new Mobile Search homepage for full details of all the services available.
See the upcoming revenue/business any search company could create by offering a Direct Link function for a keyword?
Monday, November 20, 2006
Frapple (Follow the Red Apple) has created a static print to internet linking system that directs prospects and customers to relevant information quickly and efficiently.
Every static document, whether it be an ad, label, television commercial, billboard, manual. Real estate listings. classified ads, clothing labels, product manuals, replacement parts, travel brochures, catalogs, and auto sales are just some of the examples where people can enter a Frapple Code and be directed to a specific website.
They even have a mobile site that offers the ability to FIND a site...
Try NFL, or SOUP1 in their FIND window here
Campbell's sold like 30 million cans of tomato soup last year. Less than 1% know there are 1183 recipes, for Tomato soup alone, on their website. You think if more people knew, and it was easy to access, they would possibly sell a few million more cans of soup? And what about the other 100 or so varieties.
Tracking click-throughs has never been easier. Run the same ad in various publications with different frapple codes to determine effectiveness.
Frapple Corporate and Real Estate link tags are $20.00 per code, per year. A residential Real Estate Agent package, with 5 link tags and 4, 3" square, sign decals per link (total 20 decals), is available for $125.00.
While I think the application and concept is terrific, there is little barrier to entry. I thought about this idea a while back. A couple things stopped me. This is a commodity and it would take quite an effort to become "The Code Portal". I would always be at the mercy of a major search engine or portal introducing the same service.
From M.I.T. Technology Review Hyperlinking Reality via Phones
Nokia researchers are working on a system that allows physical objects to be identified and connected to the Internet through mobile-phone screens.
A Nokia research project could one day make it easier to navigate the real world by superimposing virtual information on an image of your surroundings. The new software, called Mobile Augmented Reality Applications (MARA), is designed to identify objects viewed on the screen of a camera phone.
The Nokia research team has demonstrated a prototype phone equipped with MARA software and the appropriate hardware: a global positioning system (GPS), an accelerometer, and a compass.
The souped-up phone is able to identify restaurants, hotels, and landmarks and provide Web links and basic information about these objects on the phone's screen
For now shortcodes and keywords offer the Text-To-Buy function. Who has the ability to offer multiple functions for a shortcode?
Soon an mCode , a ShotCode , or an EZcode will offer the ability to connect directly with an advertisement without typing.
2d codes will replace shortcodes as the new mcommerce tool.
From BrandWeek Publishers test out text-to-buy feature
Thanks to a new technology from a New York firm called ShopText and eBay unit PayPal, consumers this holiday season have the option of buying and sampling some products with their cell phones.
Magazines like Details, CosmoGIRL!, Glamour and Brides are rolling out ads with short codes for text-to-buy transactions. ShopText also worked with Lucky magazine for a program in the publication's September issue.
Could you envision the first Interactive Magazine?
Thursday, November 16, 2006
This application allows users to create their own 2d code (QR code)/physical world hyperlink, and connect physical items to a specific website using a camera phone.
Teaming up with Sprint for mobile search today also creates some interesting opportunities for their mobile marketing service.
I see Microsoft introducing a 2d code creating application for advertisers shortly. Instead of searching using a mobile phone, users will be able to "find" and link to targeted information by scanning an advertiser's 2d code.
2d codes become the new "keywords" and advertisers (and consumers) can create their own 2d codes (physical world hyperlinks) and use them on all forms of advertising/physical items.
How long before Microsoft offers a "Pay-Per-Link" advertising service for mobile marketing? Mister Softee could start charging advertisers a fee for their own 2d code, or charge on a "pay-per-link" basis.
Mobile barcodes. (physical world hyperlinks)
The increasing availabity of camera phones has led to the rise of new applications for barcodes; specifically 2D or matrix barcodes, which are scannable at the lower resolutions of most camera phones.
Just starting to come into play in the U.S., mobile barcodes are a feature of daily life in certain Asian countries. When you scan a mobile barcode at say, a bus shelter advert, your camphone’s browser usually opens to a WAP site with information on what you snapped.
Useful for comparison shopping, advertising, and getting information about things you see on the go.
Besides the QR (or Quick-Response) Code—the de facto standard in Japan—competing systems include Data Matrix, Semacode , mCode, and Shotcode.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
This concept is so simple, AcrNum has compiled a registry of over 1700 domains that contain up to 6 numbers. They match a desired word with a number. That "number.com" on a mobile browser is directed to a specific WAP site.
Here's an example, typing 3776.com (ESPN) on your mobile browser could link you directly to mobileapp.espn.go.com Because this is a dynamic function, 3776.com will redirect the user to various WAP sites depending on time, location and ESPN's choice.
AcrNum, like acronym but with numbers.
I referred to this concept as a "Mobile Real Names". A few years ago, there was a company called Real Names that allowed you to type in a word (without the www or .com) in the browser window and be directed to a specific site. Microsoft had ties to the company.
AcrNum is a company designed to create a new wave in mobile Internet access for consumers. They start with access. They substitute numbers for letters in domain names to create a branded and easily recognized way to get content through your mobile browser -
The key selling points are: there is no application to download, the WAP site can be accessed from ANY Web-enabled mobile phone, from any country, with ANY carrier.
As an example, YAHOO is 92466 on your mobile keypad. Where most mobile agencies are trying to get the most memorable shortcodes for their text messaging service (4INFO is 44636, QTAGS 78247), AcrNum saw the potential in identifying a domain with a number.
AcrNum currently owns in excess of 1,750 numeric domains comprised of 975 that are specifically targeted to the automotive sector and over 700 generic and potentially brand specific domains. Yes that seems limited at first, but theses guys are creative and have already found ways to expand that.
For example, the sequence 3776 can represent 144 (3 x 4 x 4 x 3) potential alpha URLs. Of the 144 possible combinations, over 120 are current registed domains and therefore potential clients for AcrNum's mobile Internet development services.
AcrNum has Tribune Media Services, and their 120 newspapers as a venture partner.
Their first campaign allows mobile users to go to 783658.com for Michael Mepham's Sudoku puzzle. This direct-to-consumer service is one of the first to offer direct access to mobile content by using a numeric domain name.
How long before wireless carriers offer a credit division? NTT DoCoMo already did.
I see Visa or Amex teaming up with a carrier and "branding" a phone. Example, "Visa, the official credit card of Sprint".
Eventually minutes will be free and the data packages/applications will be the selling points for carriers.
Minutes are added to frequent flyer miles? See the marketing possibilities?
Do you remember what does American Express used for their slogan????
What is it that you never leave home without now?
From Mobile Tech News Visa launches pilot mobile barcode payment program
Visa is now testing the delivery of mobile payment coupons and rewards via text message, graphic and bar code images direct to consumers' mobile devices.
The pilot, which is scheduled to launch in November with approximately 500 Visa employees in California, is expected to expand to public trials over the next year. Pilot participants will receive payment coupons and rewards that can be redeemed at on-site cafes located at Visa's corporate campus
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Nokia is producing an RFID phone and Microsoft is developing an RFID browser.
From RFID Weblog RFID movie tickets for you
SK Telecom has come up with a new system which would simply take movie ticket counters out of the picture.
Called the U-theater service, all you need to do is go in front of the poster of the movie you intend to watch and use your mobile phone for scanning RFID tag on the poster and reserve a ticket for yourself.
Besides this you can also watch video clips and set the music of the movie as your ring tone. When your ticket is confirmed you will get a confirmation number which would be sent on your phone. It so simple!!
They describe their platform as a "visual Google".
Images will act as physical world hyperlinks, and the camera/software on the mobile phone will provide a "broswer". Simply point and click and a camera phone user will be connected to the Net. This space/application has started to heat up.
Google recently acquired Neven Vision.
DSPV has developed unique, patented server-side technology that provides a full camera-based visual search and retrieval solution.
A mobile visual search platform on a camera phone. Instead of typing URLS, just click on an image and be directed to targeted content.
The mobile phone's camera is used to select an object of interest (advertisement, photo, commercial logo, URL etc.) and the relevant content is retrieved.
Effectively any visual object appearing in print or displayed on a computer/TV screen can thus serve as a "banner" which can be linked to mobile content, where picture-taking replaces the ubiquitous "mouse click".
Tsi Lev, CEO of DSPV demonstrates DSPV's visual search engine using a camera phone on Israel High Tech TV
Specifically designed to avoid software installation or modifications to the phones, the visual search engine works on MMS photos and 3G video-calls. On 3G handsets, the video-call mobile search provides a natural extension to present day interactive voice response (IVR).
See their technology video from the Telecom 2006 show.
Craze Productions is planning to enable consumers (using DSPV technology) to download and preview mobile content from printed ads and posters promoting artists working for Craze Productions, which describes itself as being, “the first, exclusively digital, global record label”.
Defining yourself as a "visual Google" is probably the easiest way to explain your application. Here's another company that is doing that.
Monday, November 13, 2006
They realized that there is more to a TV show and mobile marketing campaign than guessing how much currency is in a suitcase, or who gets fired .
While American Idol was the pioneer text messaging contest in the US, it was far from American Ideal
From Panasonic Broadcast Enpocket wins mobile marketing award
Enpocket , the Intelligent Mobile Marketing(TM) company, has been selected as a winner in the Best Mobile Marketing Campaign category at the 2006 MITX Awards for its work with the A&E Network.
Enpocket created a unique mobile marketing program that engaged viewers of the popular A&E show "Dog the Bounty Hunter" with entertaining interactions that enabled viewers to exchange quips with show's main character via text messaging and also reminded fans to watch the show.
How many mobile marketing campaigns do you see today that go beyond engaging?
A physical object doesn't have to have a mobile phone to connect to the net, it just needs a physical world hyperlink (PWH) and a network connection.
Scan a bar code, read an RFID tag, recognize a sound or image (there are a few others that are a little too futuristic to talk about now) ...as long as the physical world browser can resolve the PWH and connect the Net, you have physical world connection.
From Scanblog 10 Hot Trends
The Innovation Lab is in Denmark and refers to itself as "the Nordic observation post for the technologies of the future."
3. THING CONNECTION Thing Connection is the keystone of the 4A concept – Anytime connection, Anywhere connection, Anything connection – by Anyone. Otherwise known as ”An internet of things” – in other words: when things communicate with each other.
The full list
Japan's mobile operators DoCoMo, KDDI/AU and SoftBank are expanding their business into mobile payment and mobile credit, traditionally the realm of banks, credit card companies, financial institutions and cash.
Customer's camera phone reads the barcode or QR-code on an utility bill or mailorder invoice, and forwards secure payment instructions to the customer's bank account
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Earlier this year I qualified for a slot for the Ford IronMan World Championship 70.3. This is the race where the top 2000 triathletes put it on the line.
Pete, the TRIMONKEE will be making his debut there too.
You can follow the action live Saturday morning. My race number is 739
Some of my friends from all parts of the world will be there.
It is such a treat to be surrounded by 2000 of the nicest Type A personalities, (and their families), who see how far they can push themselves physically.
Google entering print advertising market, and now the radio ad space, leads me to think they are creating an ad platform for mobile marketing and the physical world.
The recent acquisition of dMarc Broadcasting allows an advertiser to select an ad to play over the airwaves based on the demographic of their choice, whenever they want to, by their latitude and longitudinal position (location based advertising).
When Google starts using Global Positioning Systems (GPS), it will open up a plethora of revenue streams.
I can see Google Radio Ads generating revenues in two ways.
In addition to selling radio ads based on keywords and location, Google will sell SMS keywords to advertisers and they can use these kewyords in their radio or print ad. What I see is every radio ad including "send keyword to 46645 (GOOGL) for more information" and information is sent back via an SMS.
Revenue from the actual radio ad, and revenue every time a consumer sends a text message. This is "Pay-Per-Text".
The radio ads will progress to "Visit our site via Google LinkWord (keyword)".
A consumer can type in a specific LinkWord and use the Google Link function to be directed to A SPECIFIC SITE. This is "Pay-Per-Link".
This is not search, this is find. I don't want to do a search for Coca Cola's new energy beverage Blak, I just want to go to the specific site.
A Google LinkWord acts as a hyperlink.
After a consumer reads a magazine or hears an ad for Blak, they can send a text message "BLAK to 46645" or they can type in BLAK in the Google Link function to get more information about the product or be sent directly to Coke's site for Blak.
Google is the search engine of choice and because all of these functions don't require a special application to be embedded on the mobile phone, or require carriers to include, adoption can occur immediately.
Google is so recognized that they are almost considered universal, but specific keywords are still in a closed network. The Google mobile portal could offer Search, SMS, Map, Link and soon Scan. Why limit the function of a keyword to one application?
There's a reason they put many functions on their homepage, because keywords are used in different applications and Google doesn't want people to "find" the site for the other tools. You dont see a separate site for each of the uses, their homepage is a portal.
The same thing will happen with their mobile portal. Don't make people work even harder to use one of your tools.
Do you want to SMS, Search, Link, Shop, Coupon, Video, Purchase, Scan.... These will all be available on ONE SITE.
Any mobile application that limits the function of a keyword will have a tough time getting adopted.
From Yahoo Google positioning move into US radio
Web search leader Google Inc. is hiring scores of radio sales people and is spending heavily in a bid to expand its position in the $20 billion radio industry.
Google spokesman Michael Mayzel said this week that the company will begin a public test of Google Audio Ads by the end of the year. Advertisers will be able to go online and sign up for targeted radio ads using the same AdWords system they use to buy Web search ads.
It made a clear move into radio in January when it agreed to pay more than $1 billion, depending on performance, for dMarc Broadcasting Inc., which connects advertisers to radio stations through an automated advertising system.
Google's CEO, Eric Schmidt's vision of streamlining the radio ads with GPS location-based technology for in-car radio use.
Monday, November 06, 2006
I see Google begin to offer advertisers the ability to link directly to their site using these AdWords, but instead they will be called "LinkWords". A separate function on Google's homepage will be offered called "LINK".
Because Google's SE is the search engine of choice, and everyone knows how to get there, advertisers will pay a premium for a specific AdWord (called LinkWord), and they can use this "LinkWord" to get traffic to a specific website in Google's "LINK" option.
This is perfect for those times when you don't want to search, you want to find. But you also don't want to lose the ability to search.
An AOL keyword links a user to a specific site but AOL is in a closed network because only AOL members can use these keywords. Google LinkWords will provide this same function as an AOL keyword, but in what is becoming the biggest network, as an addition in their menu (News, Images, Froogle etc)
From USA Today Google expands advertising to newspapers
How it works: Google sells search advertising at its AdWords.google.com site, where businesses bid on the search term ("Florida insurance" "Detroit lawyer") they want. The more people interested in the term, the more expensive it is.
Google will add a "newspaper advertising" tab in AdWords that will let businesses bid on buying advertising space in newspapers, in a variety of sizes. Customers will get tools to upload photos and type in information to create an ad on the spot, then they can send it directly to the newspaper.
When Google gets serious about the mobile, they will dominate the mobile marketing industry with this LINK function. Not only will they offer the ability to link specific keywords to websites, but soon they will offer ANYONE the ability to create a physical world hyperlink to place on any form of advertising.
Than means anyone (consumer aor advertiser,) will be able to self generate a hyperlink (LinkWord, Keyword, 2d code) and any physical object can be connected to the Internet.
Saturday, November 04, 2006
From Business Week Jeff Bezos' Risky Bet
In 2002, Amazon began offering outside software and Web site developers access to selected Amazon data such as pricing trends, gradually adding more and more until this year. Now it's basically getting free help from more than 200,000 outside Web developers, up 60% from a year ago.
They're building new services on top of Amazon technology, further feeding back into Amazon's core retail business.
One service, Scanbuy , lets people check Amazon prices on their cell phones to see if they're better than prices in a retail store.
One thing to keep in mind, the CEO of Scanbuy was the former CEO of Barnes and Noble. He has seen the initial transformation of bricks and mortar to ecommerce.
He knows the potential of physical world connection and Phase 2 of the Net.
I see Amazon utilizing Scanbuy's barcode tool to drive traffic to Amazon's site. Instead of a price comparison service, Amazon could just guarantee the lowest price on any product with a barcode.