Wednesday, July 26, 2006

DigiMarc Is Physical World Connection Player

Digimarc Corporation announced today the launch of a digital watermarking pilot in Japan that will allow customers of one of the country's popular "Amusement Cafe Maid in Japan" cafes to use their camera phones to interact with digitally-watermarked print materials and connect to online information such as a theme-oriented city guide and mobile phone wallpaper featuring favorite characters.

Machine-readable digital codes placed in printed marketing materials such as magazines, catalogs and fliers turn each printed page into a hyper link to web content.

Digital watermarks offer brand-sensitive companies an elegant, inobtrusive alternative to industrial-style barcodes and QR codes, allowing companies to easily extend their print campaigns to the mobile world without having to use visible marks that detract from the their brand.

See their mobile catalog


Anonymous said...

The challenge here is to introduce the watermarks so that they are imperceptible and yet easy to decode with a camera phone.

Unless you've got a very high resolution camera phone with very good focus, I don't see how this is going to work. All the watermarking patterns I've ever seen that approached robustness in decoding have been altogether too easy to detect visually.

Anonymous said...

There is also a secondary problem with this as well. Unlike the Bee Tagg system, where there is a clear 'call to action' in the form of an identifiable visual tag, the DigiMarc system provides no visual clues that the image is a link.

From the point of view of the end user, I'm not going to pay it much attention as I would if there a clear indication that I can interact with the image.

Having to support the image with text instructions would be beside the point. Once a user is used to the idea that a tag leads to some form of interaction, it becomes part of the users intuition. He/she would only need to learn this once. Whereas, I cannot see it being a part of the normal user pattern to simply take pictures to fulfil an interaction.

I can imagine the senario where a person starts to take pictures at a magazine stand only to be told off.

Having said that, I intend to contact DigiMarc to beta test this myself. I envisage taking pictures of this months' playperson centerfold and sending it off to see what sort of interaction I'd get back : )