Monday, June 05, 2006

Coming Soon...A New Physical World Connection Player


There will be a new player to add to the list shortly.

A well-known company alerted me today of their ability to resolve the largest suite of barcode symbologies using a camera phone.

They have stayed under the radar with this technology and will be unveiling their Physical World Connection application soon.

I imagine their name will have enough pull to expedite this industry.

Details shortly.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wiil the symbologies be resolved on the phone or elsewhere (via connection over a network to a server)???

Can this mystery well-known company afford a toll, or do they have bulletproof patent(s)???

Anonymous said...

No doubt a very SYMBOLic announcement...

Anonymous said...

With mobile phones what matters is NOT the number of codes a phone can read but the number of phones that can read A code. How else can you reach mass consumers unless you work with the basic common phone type. Consumers have no need to read codes like code 39, code 128, or PDF-417. No one is going to deliver consumer services with them either.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, we need more standard codes on camera phones -- that's the trick! -- what would we poor mortals do without interleaved 2 of 5??

You mean you don't WANT to decode pallet numbers??

Really, if this is the sell, how clueless can you get? Have these people been paying attention to ANYTHING in this space, or are they just phoning it in?

This just shows how big companies don't know how to do new technology. They just wind up doing the obvious and "standard" and safe, because its what they know. Does it fit the market in any important way? No matter! Let the consumers eat their dog food and smile.

Anonymous said...

Previous poster makes an important observation, but these two objectives are NOT mutually exclusive. Lowest common denominator of mass consumer camera phone coupled with resolving all/most code puts the "user" in control. (How does the previous poster KNOW just what symbology I may need to scan/decode?) I like that and would be the best of all worlds so to speak. We're waiting on your scoop, PP. Me thinks it's Symbol Technoologies, who you mentioned as a dark horse potential PWC player before in your BLOG.

Anonymous said...

And speaking of clueless, how about Nokia and the big Japanese corporations, who can't seem to stop themselves forcing decades old "standard" codes on this space, even though they're as big as your foot and butt ugly on the page? What does QR stand for? Quite Repulsive?

Oh yeah, it's the big players who've got this space figured out, alright. Leave it to them to deliver the best possible technology to consumers -- they'd NEVER steer us wrong!

Technology by committee. Never a pretty sight. Bring your barf bag.

Anonymous said...

Hey man....take your meds ASAP.

Scott Shaffer said...

"Wiil the symbologies be resolved on the phone or elsewhere (via connection over a network to a server)???"

The symbologies will be resolved on the device, and according to the company, "faster than any other similar product".

Anonymous said...

Hi, Scott,

I'm a Neomedia investor (I know -- you've never seen one of them on your blog before lol), and I was wondering... Does resolving the symbology on the device effectively create a workaround to Paperclick, which connects an object to the internet via a server?

Anonymous said...

Scott,

When the first poster asked, "Wiil the symbologies be resolved on the phone or elsewhere (via connection over a network to a server)???," were they referring to resolving the symbol into a file id, or resolving the file id into a URL?

The reason I ask is because I'm curious how this new tech relates to NEOM's patent, quoted below (particularly the part in bold):

Thus, the present invention is a method for accessing content from an information server computer on a computer network such as the Internet using a camera-enabled cell phone. First, an image of a machine-readable code such as a bar code symbol is captured with the camera-enabled cell phone. The captured bar code image is processed to decode the bar code into a file identifier, and a request URL is formed that includes the file identifier. The request URL is then transmitted to a resolution server computer on the computer network. At the resolution server computer, an information URL is determined as a function of the request URL. The information URL is then returned to the camera-enabled cell phone, which in turn transmits the information URL to an information server computer designated by the information URL. The information server computer receives the information URL and returns content to the camera-enabled cell phone as a function of the information URL.

Anonymous said...

So please, please, someone explain to me why a consumer has any need to decode an Interleaved 2 of 5, or a code 39, or a code 128???? Who cares if they work "fast" if it's just mental clutter and barcode spam to begin with?

Anyone? Anyone?

Gotta love the big companies. They're selling hammers. That means you absolutely, desperately need nails.

Anonymous said...

MSFT, GOOG, YHOO!, AOL, and NOKIA are not on the list.

In that regard, it could very well be any one of those. And the fact that Scott writes back and states that, "The symbologies will be resolved on the device", and according to the company, "faster than any other similar product", doesn't make any sense to me if this is supposed to be "software" that is able "to resolve the largest suite of barcode symbologies using a camera phone."

This is why it makes no sense to me...

If a company is stating they can "resolve the largest suite of barcode symbologies using a camera phone", that means to me that they are stating they can decode any 1D, 2D or 3D barcode to "resolve" it (or in other words, take the user to where the information on the barcode is directing them when "clicked"), and Mr. Shaffer states it will be done "on the device" (or as I read it -- on the "phone"), then by DEFAULT, the URL HAS TO BE hard-coded on the barcode itself, never able to be changed.

Think about it ... How in the world would a phone be able to hold all of the resolution ID info that the NeoMedia servers would hold for the multitudes of barcodes out there?

In my opinion, it wouldn't.

Therefore, the only thing that I can see the phone being able to do is read and resolve a hardcoded URL that's on the barcode. This greatly limits the potential of the barcode and the owner's marketability of the barcode over the course of time.

This is NOT at all what NeoMedia's PaperClick is about. PaperClick is about the dynamics involved with using resolution servers to decode the file identifier buried in the barcode and link the consumer to the internet. This gives longevity to the barcode and much more "bang for your buck" for the owner of the barcode.

Recall how the Nokia barcode reader worked and how all that info on a 2D barcode can change over time. This can only be accomplished by the processes described in NeoMedia's patents, in my opinion, through a resolution server. Again, if it is to be the dynamic marketing solution for the third screen which will revolutionize both the marketer's ability to attract new business and the consumers desire to reliably use the barcode to want to interact with the advertising company.

My personal opinion is that Scott got the information a bit incorrect from the "new company". Either that, or the "new company" didn't provide enough detail to him leaving him to think that the "symbologies" will be "resolved on the device".

My gut is telling me it's Nokia. We already know they have a barcode reader which seems that it could very well be a "branded" form of PaperClick. We know that the users manual we read was an FCC "draft version", meaning that the final, public version is right around the corner. We know that NeoMedia's software engineer was not only a part of Nokia's Schamburg, IL (Motorola's backyard) "symposium" on exploiting, through software, the capabilities of the cell phone AND that curiously, he was the ONLY third party interviewee in the article that told about it. We know that Nokia wants to have a larger presence in the U.S. We know that if they unvieled this IN CONJUNCTION w/ the "turning on" of even a handful of large name company's barcodes (Coke, McD's, PG;), this would DEFINITELY jump-start the usage here in the U.S. and around the world. Others would surely want to jump on board. This would also, in my opinion, practically FORCE Motorola and other handset makers to incorporate their own "branded" version of barcode reading software just to keep up w/ Nokia. In the meantime, this could be advertised as a great selling point for Nokia's phones which could give them an almost immediate boost in U.S. sales.

Nokia's not on the list. Will they be soon?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous above, I think you must be misunderstanding what Scott had in mind. Almost certainly, the idea was that the software allowed the barcodes to be decoded on the client phone, without passing the images over to a server. Nothing is implied one way or the other about how the info in those bar codes can be used to link to the web, if indeed they are so used.

And why would one want to use a "resolution server" anyway, if can readily be avoided? Why wouldn't a information source or advertiser want to go directly to their site instead of first going to a "resolution server"? It doesn't take a big 2D code to encode a relatively compact URL. Why one needs a Neomedia like "resolution server" with a decent 2D code God only knows.

Unless, of course, Neomedia insists that people use their resolution server whether they want it or not, because otherwise they'll sue the pants off people if they don't. That, of course, sounds like a recipe for a PR disaster.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous above ...

Please familiarize yourself with how NeoMedia's PaperClick technology works. Thank you.


http://paperclick.com/hiw.jsp

http://paperclick.com/faq.jsp

Anonymous said...

anonymous above, I looked at the paperclick faq.

There's NOTHING there to show why anyone should want to use Neomedia's "resolution server" technology, whether it's on Neomedia's site or on their own servers.

Why not directly encode a compact URL if you've got a 2D code? Why pay Neomedia an arm and a leg for technology useless to you?

Anonymous said...

You can encode a compact URL all day long.

But ....

If you want that 2D code to take you anywhere on the net, then NeoMedia will gladly raise the gate at the toll booth and let you surf.

... Oh and make that check out to "NeoMedia Technologies" ... And buy some stock in the company while you're at it.

Nice doing business with you :)

Anonymous said...

Do you really believe that ONLY Neomedia has relevant patents on this space?

You'll be learning otherwise, I think.

Anonymous said...

BTW, didn't a company named HighPoint sue BarPoint (the previous name of LoyaltyPoint -- and the source of some of Neomedia's patents on bar code price comparison apps)?

Didn't BarPoint settle with HighPoint, effectively recognizing their patents as applying to the application? Wouldn't those same patents apply to Neomedia's like application for price comparison?

I wonder whatever happened to those Highpoint patents? I wonder if it wouldn't be worth someone's while to buy up those patents to have a countersuit against Neomedia if Neomedia ever sues them for a price comparison application?

Anonymous said...

Link for Highpoint Barpoint suit.

http://www.bizjournals.com/boston/stories/2001/07/23/daily21.html

Anonymous said...

Link, again:

HighPoint vs BarPoint suit

Anonymous said...

Scott, where are you??? You started this. :) Any thoughts?

Anonymous said...

What a coincidence ... My winning post was pulled and taken down. This battle was just starting to heat up.

By the way ... How's that Scanbuy working out for ya Scott? *wink*

Scott Shaffer said...

I will disclose this company, and their platform, when they publicly unveil it.

The point of the post is that their are other players in the PWC space (some of size), that haven't publicly announced their application, but IMO, will play a key role when they do.

Anonymous said...

A new phone called the pPod would be cute! Wonder who would make that? Oh, for the right little lense and some software...not to mention tens of millions of loyal iPodders who love music AND their cellphones no doubt. Why not incorporate the iPod into a pPod and make for a neat, obvious gadget migration path? Think of the mobile apps that could be downloaded and accessed on that 60g drive...

Scott Shaffer said...

pPod...I like that.

Apple has a billing and content platform already in place too.