Saturday, May 20, 2006

Travel Industry's Thomson Uses Physical World Connection

Scanning a barcode using a mobile phone can deliver many forms of information. The only application that has been presented so far by the media, is price comparison.

See what the travel industry is doing with a barcode.

From HotelMarketing Thomson showcases travel technology of the future

The UK’s leading travel company Thomson today gave an insight into the key technological developments that are likely to benefit the travel industry in the near future.

A mobile phone, equipped with a bar code reader, would enable customers to scan bar codes on advertisements or holiday brochures; details of availability information can then be displayed on their mobile phone screen.

A booking confirmation would have a unique barcode (2d code) that the customer would scan to store it in the phone so that travel shops, hotels and airports would be able to instantly recognise the customer using an RFID reader - speeding up the check in and security processes.

What I find interesting is that 2 forms of physical world hyperlinks are being used.


Anonymous said...

Scott, what company it any, owns the I.P.R. to make this PWC thing happen. Is this technology (scanning of bar codes and reading RFID's) only open to Thomsons? Or are all companies able to freely use these methods without any license?

streetstylz said...

NeoMedia owns the IP and Patent for the technology in the US and also has applicable patents in Canada & Mexico.

However, on an international level, the market is wide open and rapidly adopting the technology behind physical world connections.

Scott Shaffer said...


It's too early to tell what the most widely accepted will be.

Some companies are already litigating on specific methods, that haven't been implemented yet.

There are various ways to get to a URL from a physical object.

Anonymous said...

Is it safe to say that the most accepted method, in the future, to get a URL from a physical object would be the easiest and most direct route? Or will this PWC via mobile evolve over time and be ever changing. I am just wandering how this is all to play out. Will it be Google, Microsoft, Yahoo or some other company that will be the 800 lb gorilla in this space? Is this a case of first to market, best marketing, largest player or a combination therein?
I guess time will tell...
One thing I can be sure of is this, all the major players and everyone else is now desperately jockeying for a piece of this pie.
I will watch intently as this all unfolds.