Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Camera Phone As A Scanner

It is nice to see a major research house recognize the value of physical world connection.

From CBS Marketwatch Camera phone as a scanner

When is a camera phone not a camera? When it behaves like a reader, receiving and displaying coded information from the objects in front of its lens.

I call it a physical world browser

"It means using the camera phone not as a picture-taker," says Kenneth Hyers, principal analyst of mobile wireless research at ABI Research, "but as a scanner capturing metadata about products or services related to objects around us. I think we'll see more of this in coming years."

That data can be visible, as in the case of barcodes or the "QR" codes popular in Japan;

One company, scanR , lets you use your camera phone as a scanner, copier and fax.
Nextcode offers free downloadable software that reads certain kinds of barcodes and allows the phone user to download product information, ringtones and wallpapers.
Another company, Mobot , lets consumers photograph advertisements, products and logos, then scans the image using its own visual recognition technology and directs them to related information.

Notice they are physical world connection companies?

But these applications are all proprietary," adds Hyers. "A real market for this requires some standardization, and for marketers, operators, and handset vendors to be 'on the same page'."

TMCnet's editorial director, Al Bredenberg thinks connecting the physical world with the virtual world becomes more feasible now with camera-phone technology.


Anonymous said...

Good article - those of us watching the mobile space are expecting some standardization sometime in 2006.

Scott Shaffer said...

The question is...who will have the platform that service providers will adopt?

Expect to see at least one of the PWC players get courted by a SP soon.

Anonymous said...

OH let it be the multi-patented, sunshine state one....