Wednesday, July 05, 2006

What Does A Mobile Internet Company Look Like?

I was asked to give a presentation on Physical World Connection and the role a Physical World Hyperlink will play in it. I thought I would share it with my readers.

You will find the very first physical world hyperlink in this.


Handset manufacturers and wireless carriers have a huge opportunity. Will they recognize it?

More Internet traffic will come from mobile devices than personal computers (PC).

You must accept that mobile devices will:

---- outnumber PCs for web access

---- be “the PC” you have with you all day

---- be able to access a greater number, and different type of hyperlinks that a PC can’t

There will be TRILLIONS of hyperlinks that can only be accessed with a mobile phone.

Mobile phone handset manufacturers must start thinking that a mobile device is NOT JUST a tool for communications, but as a “Remote Control” for the physical world.

What WAS the original function of the mobile phone?....voice communications.

How did people communication using a mobile phone?...physical world hyperlink.

The phone number represented the first “hyperlink” for communications. Two computing devices linked through an electronic network using a machine readable identifier (phone number).

The Internet Phase 1

Today the Internet is perceived as a “place” where digital content/data is found and displayed using electronic identifiers.

Phase 1 is email, browsing and instant messaging.

The electronic identifiers are URL’s and/or hyperlinks.

The tools needed are a keyboard and a mouse.

In order for a Personal Computer to connect with digital content on the Net, it too needs a “phone number”, a hyperlink. This is the one-dimensional Internet.

The mouse resolves the hyperlink and is considered the “remote control” for Internet Phase 1

--------------------------Mobile Internet Phase 2-----------------

In order for mobile phone handset manufacturers and wireless carriers to become “Internet Companies”, they must define what the mobile Internet really is.

They must also ask how you will get to it, and what you will get from it.

The mobile Internet is NOT the PC Internet.

Phase 2, or the mobile Internet, is when every physical item in the world can, and will be connected to the Internet. It will have a different kind of “phone number”, or hyperlink.

It will have A Physical World Hyperlink

The mobile phone won’t be just a mobile device for communication, but it will be a “remote control” or the “mouse” that can link objects in the physical world to the Internet. This is the three dimensional Internet.

-----------------------Physical World Hyperlink---------------

A physical world hyperlink (PWH) allows any physical object to be linked directly through and to the Internet, to specific content/info/URL when accessed with a specific tools.

PWHs already exist and there are trillions of them.

A Physical World Identifier is/can be:

A barcode (UPC/EAN, Code 128)
2d code (data matrix, QR code)
RFID tag (many forms)
Many others to come.

They will require a different “browser”, or tool, but this tool will be mobile’s “search engine”.

The tools needed:

Speech recognition engine
RFID reader.

A PWH will be on or in a billboard, magazine, TV ad, train schedule, song, driver’s license, can of Coke.

The Physical World Hyperlink will allow a content owner, to directly interact, with any Internet user, anywhere, with any object, through a mobile medium.

They will also allow website owners to direct traffic to their site with a physical object, rather than a search engine.

One physical object already has numerous hyperlinks, but they can also be created.

Physical World Hyperlinks will make the number of ways to access info and data from the Internet, and Internet traffic volume, grow exponentially.

THAT is the main reason why there will be more Internet traffic from mobile devices
than PCs.

One 12 oz can of coke can offer a billion ways to access info. One 12 oz can of Coke represents billions of Physical World Hyperlinks. You find a created PWH on every Fedex package, or UPS package. Look at how productive a 2d code has made their businesses.

There are trillions of hyperlinks that can only be accessed by using a mobile phone..

What kind(s) and method(s) of information can a Physical World Hyperlink deliver?

Two types of info/content from the Mobile Internet
-static and dynamic

Two methods of delivery for mobile info
-push and pull

Static info is the Yankee’s schedule that is pulled from the Net
Dynamic info is having the Yankee’s game updates pushed to your phone.

Push requires permission and a good mobile marketer knows how to turn pull into push.

How can a Samsung, Sprint, Palm, Verizon or Nokia Turn Into An Internet Company?

All of these companies have great advantage for the Mobile Internet? What do they have over Google, Yahoo and Microsoft?

They control the “carrying case” or the “toolbox” for it. They can make the “remote control” or “mouse” for Phase 2.

Call it a toolbox or platform, that can access information in the physical world.

Create a platform that allows me to retrieve information from ALL physical (and one dimensional) objects, utilizing my location, and with the ease of use of a mouse, and THAT’S your "Mobile Internet" company


Anonymous said...

Interesting post. To whom did you present the PWC?

Larry said...

Does anybody have the platform yet or is it still to be devised?

streetstylz said...


This is a very good write up and informative piece regarding physical world connections and what a mobile Internet company should look like. Looking forward to more insightful articles like this.

Would also be interested in hearing your thoughts regarding Mobot's upcoming Mobile Marketing campaign with Starbucks set for lunch on July 10th.


Anonymous said...

The manufactures can "make 'it'" but what if the carriers don't want to "buy 'it'" or, will the manufacturers go ahead and just bypass the carriers and give users what they want? What I want is a universal barcode reader/decoder...that will take me to at least some sort of "default" information (or let me bookmark it for later use) while I wait for creative marketers to give me more reasons to interact with them when out and about in the physical world. Comparison shopping would also be a good initial use...something that I'm used to doing on the Internet using my pc.

Scott Shaffer said...

This presentation was given to a company that has the ability to implement PWC.

I agree, a universal code reading phone would be ideal. However, 1d codes aren't readable yet and there are a number of 2d code databases.

The trick will be to get all of the 2d codes, from all of the 2d code producers into one database to be identifiable.

One of the major wireless carriers is working on reading RFID tags, but not the kind from Alien, Intermec etc.

Anonymous said...

My guess is that Nokia, Moto and Sony Ericsson are ALL looking at adding barcode reading/decoding...and the carriers are too. Nokia's N93 supposedly includes a barcode reader according to blog posts (you pointed this out B4) and described in the associated manual and related N93 screen shots. Funny that this (Nokia) capability is not shown when you look up detailed N93 specs. Could this be under wraps until some sort of launch?? If there is a barcode reader on the N93, whose is it? My guess is it's Lavasphere-based (Gavitec) which can read 1D and 2D barcodes according to Lavasphere promo info on Gavitec's web site. Any thoughts?

raddedas said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
raddedas said...

Not wholly convinced I'm afraid

Core idea is good, will find useful niches if it's correctly integrated into handsets (as done by DoCoMo some time ago) but experience suggests this will take a long time outside Japan, and after that we can expect some creeping social change not a whirlwind of revolution.

Scott Shaffer said...

If my concept is totally rubbish, why take the time to comment on it?

Apparently the mobile phone manufacturers don't view this with the same skepticism as you.

"I'm even more sceptical that a can could usefully hold 'billions' of links "

One site has the ability to provide a billion ways to get to it. One can won't have a billion links.

There is more to PWC than clicking on a barcode.

"Why would Nokia, Samsung et al want to turn into mobile internet companies?"

Let me ask you this.

What technology/application has the potential to cut into their business?

Why would anyone need a computer in their home anyway? :)

Glad to see the skepticism though, it just means the masses don't get it yet.

Anonymous said...

Hi Scott and readers of TPP Blog

Excellent thinking, advancing the understanding for our industry. Brilliant, as usual, Pondering Primate!

Tomi Ahonen :-)
4-time bestselling author on mobile

Ecacofonix said...

On a side note, the dotMobi mTLD (mobile top level domain) has just been released and is in the sunrise registration period...the promise of dotMobi is to ensure that those sites with dotMobi extension will be tuned to mobile browsing...

one can expect a number of .mobi web sites - those that conform with standards for mobile browsing - to be online starting Oct 2006

More info on dotMobi can be found at - the Dot Mobi Directory, this site also plans to start a dotMobi directory soon

Ec from Home of Home Textiles @

VFML, inc said...

Your article is brilliant. We own and operate digital signage properties and have used SMS campaigns to push wap links that allow people to redeem stuff. If you like, I can send you pics of our campaigns to post on your site.
Our campaigns have been powered by Qtags. You can want to link to their blog--- They're pretty hot and they are the "Physical World Hyper Link"