Thursday, March 29, 2007

Telefonica Moviles Adopts Physical World Connection Platform

Another major carrier adopts a PWC platform.

Telefónica Moviles the largest mobile phone operator in Spain (under the movistar brand) launched a Physical World Connection campaign involving the brand Tomb Raider with 2 dimension codes.

They have licensed a specific PWC platform and have labeled them "BIDI"'s (bi-dimensional codes). 2d codes.

Curious PP readers find out what platform is being used when they download the application and open it up.

Telefonica Moviles uses 2d codes for marketing

Tomb Raider presentation (in English)

Visa Invests In Physical World Connection Player Ecrio

From Sys Con Ecrio announces strategic investment by Visa

Ecrio , the pioneer in real-time commerce and communications software for mobile phones, today announced a strategic alliance with Visa International, a global leading payment brand and the largest electronic payments network. The relationship includes an investment in Ecrio by Visa.

The funding will help Ecrio expand its offerings in two growing areas of mobile commerce: Near Field Communications (NFC) and MoBeam(TM) mobile barcode redemption, Ecrio's patented technology for 'beaming' barcodes from mobile handsets to laser point-of-sale terminals.

"MoBeam is the missing link between today's mobile consumer and a worldwide commerce infrastructure based on barcodes," said Nagesh Challa, Ecrio Chairman and CEO.

3GVision Bringing Mobile Barcode Scanning To The West

3GVision Inc brings Japanese 2D barcode phenomenon to the West.

With its i-nigma™ reader already inside the 2D Barcode revolution in Japan, 3GVision is now taking its market-leading direct-to-mobile-web barcode solution worldwide.

Dover, DE - March 29, 2007 –3GVision, a leading provider of advanced cellular imaging solutions for mobile devices, announced today the availability of its i-nigma™ 2D barcode scanning system, world-wide – for JAVA, BREW, Symbian and Microsoft Windows operating systems.

3GVision - which has empowered more than two-thirds of the handsets in Japan - is bringing the code revolution to the global market. 3GVision is offering its market-proven inigma ™ reader as part of a full service solution, tailored to the needs of key stakeholders in the mobile code ecosystem: wireless operators, handset manufacturers, media companies, advertisers and their agencies, mobile content and service providers.

By using a mobile handset’s camera to scan a two-dimensional barcode - either the Japanese style QR codes or the Data Matrix codes already in use in the US and Europe for logistics - i-nigma™ instantly links to the desired web content, eliminating the need to write long URL's using the keypad – one of the major consumer barriers to accessing the Internet from mobile devices.

Teaming up with NTT DoCoMo and Vodafone, 3GVision introduced their first mobile phone code readers in Japan in 2003. 3GVision's technology is already embedded in over 50 million handsets in Japanese handsets and over 100 handset models, and is established as the defacto industry standard for Japanese operators and handset vendors.

Physical World Hyperlinks A Prediction For Next Five Years

MobileMuse has a list of their top five predictions for the Canadian wireless industry.

#3. QR Code or a similar datatag standard will bring the long-awaited change in mobile internet usage. Not many people want to bother entering URLs on a mobile phone.
Sooner or later, one of the carriers will figure out the advantages of QR codes
(they already have) and launch a line of compatible handsets while earning millions through creating marketing solutions for business customers.

After speaking to the wireless carriers and the PWC companies at CTIA, Physical World Connection is reaching the tipping point in Europe. The second quarter of 07 is when we should see a couple major carriers adopt the ability to scan a 2d code using a camera phone.

I will have my CTIA summary shortly.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

YooMedia And L'Oreal Use Barcodes For Mobile Marketing

From TotalTele YooMedia in L'Oreal deal

YooMedia Tuesday said it has launched a new proprietary mobile-based sales promotion technology with L'Oreal, which is trialling it as part of a nationwide hair colouring products marketing campaign.

The company said the newly developed technology, designed and developed by YooMedia, is centred around mobile messaging and secure, stand alone interactive promotional consoles known as 'Kerching kiosks', which together drive customers to the promoter's event or retail site.

This exciting new initiative allows promoters to send consumers barcodes or pin numbers via SMS, which can then be exchanged for special offers at branded Kerching Kiosks.

Microsoft's Physical World Connection AURA

SmartPhone has a great summary of Microsoft's barcode reading application AURA.

The AURA client automatically reads the barcode from the photo and submits a request to the Microsoft site with the barcode information, to look up the product information. It then shows the product description in the pocket Internet Explorer.

Download the AURA mobile client here

These 2 pictures demonstrate how a special lens is still required in order to scan a 1d code.

I was able to see a new PWC company that can read 1d (and 2d) codes without a special lens attachment. Stay tuned.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Pondering Primate Off To CTIA Wireless In Orlando

I am headed to the CTIA show in Orlando. If you are on the Physical World Connection Company list or if your company has a Physical World Connection application and want to tell me about it, drop me an email.

CTIA WIRELESS® is the world’s largest technology event dedicated exclusively to wireless, broadband convergence and mobile computing technologies, covering the entire industry from network infrastructure to microprocessors to applications to content to end-user hardware

Trillcode Creates A Unique Physical World Hyperlink

Notice anything different about the 2d code from Trillcode?

I talked about the many functions of a Trillcode before, but they are doing something unique.
Here's another Physical World Connection player that has done something very smart. One of the biggest complaints I hear about PWC is identifying the different codes and the scanning applications.

One of the things that will separate the PWC companies, is when each code is recognizable. BeeTagg offers a unique code and Nextcode's ConnexTo tag can be personalized.

Take a look at PWC player Trillcode and see how they allow a company to place an image or logo inside of the 2d code.

Trillcode allows brands, services to identify their own physical world hyperlinks (2D codes). That is a great selling point for adoption.

Today Lark Computers, a Romanian company, introduced the second version of its Trillcode reader. The new release greatly enhance the maximum content length decoding ability, to reach 210 characters on medium-high-end phones. Also it is the first time when a mobile barcode reader is used to process and send order forms or play melodies. The next version of the reader application will double the currently maximum values.
Mr. Cozmin Tircob, Managing Director of Lark Computers said: "We are looking to embed an entire application inside the barcode. Our future product, currently under development, will benefit from the extended storing capacity of the Trillcode. This will give our barcode another dimension and will allow companies using the Trillcode encoder to build in minutes a customized mobile application and deploy it in a barcode."

The application can be used to briefly present the company, products, services and allow clients to order or send feedback from "one click away". There will be options to receive news or advertisements from the company if a network connection is available.

To download the free Trillcode reader, and see how to create your own Trillcode

Semacode Connects Physical Objects With Camera Phones In Africa

From Foreign Policy
Africa catches up on IT innovation

A Ghanaian software developer is popularizing Semacode , a combination of Internet technology and shoe-leather gumption that he helped create.

Here's how it works: A black-and-white barcode is printed up and affixed to buildings, street lamps, or other landmarks. When people walk by and wonder, "Hey, what's that clock tower?" they can just whip out their camera phones and scan the barcode.

Instantly, their Internet-enabled phones tell them they're at the University of Ghana, which was founded in 1948 and has nearly 24,000 students. The idea of using cellphones to read barcodes is not original; Japan has had the technology for years. But in Africa, where streets and buildings are renamed quite often, this tool can be particularly helpful.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

AOL Is Sitting On A Goldmine...But Do They Know It?

Laura Marriott from the Mobile Marketing Association discusses how short codes and text messaging are impacting mobile marketing.

In addition AOL announced a plugin for their instant messenger that reveals IM buddy locations.

I can see AOL, if they use some creative thinking, to become a true mobile player.

Unknown to many, CSCs are the five- or six-digit text messaging (or SMS) numbers marketers provide to consumers so they can interactively engage in a campaign.

Mobile allows brands to connect with their consumers like never before. It gives them the chance to develop a one-to-one dialogue and relationship with consumers anytime, anywhere. CSCs are one way to do exactly this. They allow brands to offer easy-to-use, relevant, entertaining information that ultimately drives consumer action.

Maybe an AOL Yellow Pages ?

Do you think AOL realizes they are sitting on a goldmine

Friday, March 16, 2007

Mobile Philippines Uses Barcodes In March-April 2007 Issue

Mobile Philippines’ March-April 2007 issue is out now with the beautiful Kelly Misa on the cover…again.

We’re definitely not complaining; it’s surely sweeter the second time around with her. Be sure to click on the TMS tag (that’s the barcode on the cover page story; make sure you have the application,it’ll instantly bring you to Mobile’s WAP site where you can view a video clip featuring exclusive behind-the-scene moments with Kelly.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Microsoft's Lincoln Uses Camera Phone And Images For Mobile Search

Recently Google acquired Neven Vision, and Mobot was acquired in what was called the "marketing wedding of the year". Since then they bought themselves back from acquirer.

Here comes Microsoft with an image recognition search engine application.

Microsoft has their own image recognition application that lets people search the Internet on their cell phones using a camera instead of a keypad.

From Technology Review Microsoft's Lincoln uses images and camera phones for search

Researchers at Microsoft have developed a software prototype called Lincoln that they hope will make Web searches easier. According to Larry Zitnick , a Microsoft researcher who works on the project, phones equipped with the software could, for example, access online movie reviews by snapping pictures of movie posters or DVD covers and get product information from pictures of advertisements in magazines or on buses.

"The main thing we want to do is connect real-world objects with the Web using pictures," says Zitnick. "[Lincoln] is a way of finding information on the Web using images instead of keywords."

Currently, the database contains pictures of DVD covers that link to movie reviews uploaded by Microsoft researchers. However, anyone can contribute his or her pictures and links to the database, and Zitnick hopes that people will fill it with pictures and links to anything from information about graffiti art to scavenger-hunt clues.

The technology is now the basis for the Google Image Labeler , which consists of a game that helps Google serve up more-accurate picture results for keyword searches.

Microsoft now has a speech recognition browser , a barcode scanning device and developing a RFID browser .

Microsoft Buys Speech Recognition Browser TellMe

Microsoft buys a speech recognition browser

When you read this remember that the spoken word is technically a physical world hyperlink. Saying the word "Google" links you to on any device. There are/will be trillions of other physical world hyperlinks that will need a browser.

From USA Today Microsoft buys speech recognition company TellMe

Microsoft announced Wednesday that it is buying privately held speech recognition maker Tellme Networks in a deal believed to be in the range of $800 million.

With the deal, Microsoft gains a company with deep expertise in speech recognition and the intersection of voice and data, an area of keen interest to the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant.

Are we seeing Microsoft transform themselves into a "mobile Internet company"?

Now think about the trillion other physical world hyperlinks (1D code, 2D code, RFID tags, images, fingerprints etc) that will need a browser to connect objects to the Net.

Microsoft already has the browser for the barcodes .

Are they developing an RFID browser ?

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

UpCode Selected As Forum Nokia PRO Member

Physical World Connection player UpCode announced that it has become a member of Forum Nokia PRO, a program that provides advanced technical, business development and marketing support to selected mobile software companies.

Wireless Developer UpCode Ltd. today gains Exclusive Access to Nokia Technical Resources and Business Development Support, joining industry leaders in Forum Nokia PRO.

Forum Nokia PRO provides specialized support for advanced developer companies creating the next generation of software based on the Series 40, S60 and Series 80 platforms from Nokia.

A select number of companies worldwide who demonstrate industry leadership are chosen as Forum Nokia PRO members. By becoming a Forum Nokia PRO member, UpCode Ltd. is better positioned to ensure the close integration of its software with Nokia’s devices and benefits from Nokia’s extensive worldwide software distribution channels.

UpCode Access technology includes a broad range of data collection to the mobile in form of adaptive recognition of Data Matrix, QR, 1D codes, text, pictures, voice and other indicators.

Member companies are also invited to participate in valuable co-marketing activities with Nokia. These can include opportunities to demonstrate applications in Nokia’s booth at industry events and inclusion in Nokia-published software catalogues, distributed to mobile network operators and content aggregators worldwide.

UpCode Ltd. with offices in Finland, London and Shanghai, is the developer of Mobile Access & Interaction (MAI™) technology for mobile phones.

Physical World Connection Helps Combat Counterfeiting

Every prescription drug bottle, or pharmaceutical product will eventually get its own domain (website) and when the 2D code or RFID tag is scanned will connect to the site and verify the authenticity.

The 2D code or RFID tag acts as a physical world hyperlink to the Internet.

Unlike RFID, the 2D barcode matrix can be read by barcode readers that are already widely available in the supply chain.

From in-Pharma Mobile phones call up counterfeits

A twist on an existing security technology will use enhanced mobile phones to help establish the authenticity of pharmaceutical products in developing countries.

The authentication system, developed by UK-based firm Aegate , uses a simple 2D barcode along with a scanner device incorporated into an existing mobile phone. The barcode is scanned by the phone, and is then decoded by Aegate software and a response sent through to the mobile phone confirming or questioning a product's authenticity.

Other examples of pharmaceutical companies combatting counterfeiting.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

QMCODES A Physical World Connection Player

Add Australian based QMCODES to the list of Physical World Connection companies .

Their story coming shortly.

Microsoft To Acquire TellMe For $800m?

Physical World Connection player TellMe is close to being bought out by Microsoft. TellMe's founder Mike McCue called his vision "DialTone 2.0". That's along the same thinking as giving every physical object a dialtone.

I think it would make a great fit and wonder if Google will counter. Can you see a speech recognition browser in the making? The idea of using words and physical world hyperlinks to connect to the Net.

From C/Net Sources say Microsoft near deal to buy TellMe

Microsoft is close to acquiring privately held Tellme Networks, a maker of products that bridge the worlds of speech recognition and the Internet, CNET has learned.

The deal is expected to be completed and announced later this week, according to sources familiar with the companies' plans.

Mountain View, Calif.-based Tellme is best known for its service that lets people get Internet information over the telephone, but the company also has a variety of services that businesses can use to offer automated data and directory assistance information via the phone

Recently they introduced a speech recognition 411 for the mobile.

Who's next on the list to get acquired?

Smart Uses Decodes For SMS Voting

From Denpa Binbining Pilipinas

Physical world hyperlinks being used for SMS voting.

Nextcode's mobile barcode technology being used in a contest done by Smart Communications

Decode, based on a symbology developed by Nextcode (mCode) is scanned and the customer is taken to a reference website, a bill paying process, or in this case ... a vote for a contestant in a beauty contest.

Monday, March 12, 2007

BeeTagg Using PWH For Mobile Marketing And Mobile Search

Physical World Connection player BeeTagg has been making great strides with BeeTaggs for both mobile marketing and search functions.

A couple things I like about BeeTagg. Their code is very easy to identify which gives them a great advantage for mobile marketing. Second, they recognize that a physical world hyperlink (PWH) will be used both as an advertising tool AND a mobile information application.

We will Rock You” goes BeeTagg: The word famous Rock-Musical from Queen uses BeeTagg in all communication materials in CH, i.e. millions of flyers, thousands of advertising posters covering Switzerland and southern germany, advertisements in bigger newspapers in Switzerland. You can download ringtones, videos and pictures, buy tickets, win travels and tickets and much more. This is one of the major yellow pages directories in Switzerland. For every company in Switzerland it is now possible to use a BeeTagg to download detailed company information to your mobile.

The BeeTagg is automatically displayed in search results on the searchfox-portal. We think that this is a great example of the reasonable use of 2d-codes on web pages.

Getting the BeeTagg application on a major portal like Searchfox opens the door for both mobile marketing and search applications.

BMW: The BMW Motorcycle Corporation of Switzerland is using BeeTagg to promote their new X-Series Bikes. The BeeTagg is used on many events including Swiss Moto (biggest bike fair in CH), in many communications materials, on stickers and as display at most BMW dealers in CH. Users can download detailed product information, participate in an attractive contest, download videos and more.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Bar Code Scanning Nextcode Is Hiring

Physical world connection player Nextcode , is looking for a web developer to join their development team in Concord Mass.

Nextcode is a mobile software development firm that specializes in optical barcode reading technology for camera phones. They are a startup company,creating exciting new products that change the way consumers and businesses use mobile phones to access content, buy products, and use mobile services.

They are working with customers throughout the world to introduce innovative mobile services based on our ConnexTo platform.

- 2+ years of experience in web development
- Experience working with web technologies, application servers, databases, optimization & security techniques
- Advanced knowledge of Web services, Java, .Net, C# , AJAX, CSS and HTML and/or Flash
- Ability to work in a dynamic and challenging environment.
- Good team and interpersonal skills
- Strong ambition to tackle new challenges and create solutions accordingly
- Ability to work independently with minimal supervision, tackle new challenges and bring them to completion
- BS or MS in IT related discipline
- Knowledge of basic usability and UI design concepts.
- Candidates must be legally able to work in the US

Contact them at

Thursday, March 08, 2007

What Google Should Offer With Their Rumored "Switch" Phone

Rumors about Google and Samsung will together build a new mobile phone, codenamed Switch.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect is the rumored go-to-market strategy: Google would build distribution relationships with multiple carriers by allowing them to minimize subscription and marketing costs; that is, Google would market the phone online, and carriers would fulfill.

When I sat down with Larry and Sergey (yes that is a joke) and they asked me what kind of phone Google should build, these are the things I thought would make it a big seller.

1.QWERTY keyboard. Because every mobile phone is/will be connected to the Internet, it only makes sense that the keypad is replaced with a keyboard. It could be a touch pad or keys, but make sure it's QWERTY.

2. Better antenna. Spend a couple extra bucks and build the antenna in the casing allowing a better connection. I would market the phone showing studies of how this is accomplished with new materials.

3. WiFi enabled. Incorporate the ability to switch from cell signal to WiFi. As the adoption of VoIP grows, this is a must.

4. Great battery. In Sprint's Ambassador program, I tested out their Samsung A920 phone using their Power Vision service. I used every high data application they offer and the battery lasted for days.

5. Satellite Radio. I'm not a big fan of carrying my music on my phone, but I do want access to music or TV. With the variety of music and TV channels that sat radio offers, that would do the trick.

6. Camera. Include a camera that produces high resolution pictures and that can capture all types of barcodes (1D or 2D)

7. Toolbar. Put a Google toolbar at bottom of screen so I can type in a quesry and search without having to go online first.

8. GPS When I do a search or pull up a map, I want the phone with GPS function to identify my location without having to type in zip code or city I am in. i realize this isn't a phone issue, but I would like to have it as a buuilt in feature when it becomes available.

9. A universal instant messaging/ SMS "buddy list". One buddy list that I can include my AOL/Yahoo, SMS, text alert/info services, and Skype buddies.

10. Universal email retrieval. A function that allows me to retrieve email from all providers. I realize this is available now, but I want this to be easy to set up.

These are just some things I would love my next "smartphone" to have. I realize some of these ideas aren't possible right now. Keep Apple's iPhone and give me this instead.

Microsoft Uses Barcodes For Text2Paper

Think of this as a physical world hyperlink creating device.

From Seattle Times Microsoft's TechFest

Brier Dudley got a chance to see some of the new products Microsoft is developing. One of them utilizes physical world connection.

Called Text2Paper, the device receives and prints short SMS messages sent from phones onto clear stickers. The labels can then be pasted onto an adjacent paper calendar, on the appropriate day.

The idea is that family members could send appointments, shopping lists and other info to this system, which would most likely be mounted in a kitchen. Each printout also has a bar code that can be read by camera phones, so you can take a picture of an appointment with your phone and have it automatically synced with the device's calendar

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

MarksGuide Reviews Nextcode's Mobile Code Scanning Application

Nextcode's ConnexTo mobile code scanning a snap

ConnexTo , from NextCode, is barcode scanning software that works with camera phones. It can quickly recognize a pattern of dots arranged in rectangular area, which it then translates into data that can be stored or used on your device such as contact details and web addresses, etc. The exciting thing about this is that the scanning works with compatible phones that have a standard 1.3 megapixel camera built in - no other hardware required.

Video of ConnexTo

But This Time It's Different

The Mobile Insider discusses how camera phones that can read 2d codes, and eventually 1d barcodes, will be different than the failed CueCat.

From Mobile Insider The revenge of the Cue Cat

The CueCat was a handheld personal scanning device that was supposed to "inter-activate" print. By reading codes in ads, editorials and flyers, it would pop up corresponding Web pages online. This was supposed to spare us the inconvenience of typing in lengthy URLs and bridge the world of physical and virtual worlds for publishers and marketers.

One U.K. firm, World Forum Research, is stoking the old embers in a new report. With the success of using mobile phones as code readers in Japan and Korea, the company predicts that 70% of U.S. and European consumers will use 2D codes to activate content on their phones by 2009.

These mobile "hyperlinks" will use a visual code, an audio cue or even some sort of touch or proximity signal to pull down to the phone some piece of content or WAP link.

At some point this is going to happen, I have no doubt. But 70% of us using it by 2009?

Handset manuf, wireless providers and packaging companies are already putting the necessary infrastructure in place.

As WFR points out, there are successful trials of the necessary enabling technologies in the U.S., and some systems are already in place in the Asian markets.

The potential here is so monstrous that companies and solutions are just pouring in. That alone is why 2009 seems like an awfully premature target date.

Huh? That statement doesn't make any sense.

I fear the competition and shakeout phase on this one could be huge.

I agree. With all of the players on this list a shakeout is inevitable when Google, Microsoft, Yahoo etc implement a code scanning application for the masses. .

Nokia Introduces Mobile Ad Platform

From ZD Net Nokia introduces mobile ad services

Nokia announced two new services Tuesday to help mobile operators and marketers realize the potential of advertising on mobile phones.

Nokia Ad Service, the first of the new features, is a system for simplifying the mobile-advertising process that supports and manages a full ad campaign lifecycle.

The service is built around a group of content publishers who have formed a mobile-advertising network. It also uses technology developed by Nokia that will be used to deploy, manage and optimize mobile ad campaigns. Nokia Ad Service is launching this week in Europe and will be available globally in the second half of 2007, the company said.

Nokia also introduced Nokia Advertising Gateway, a service for third-party content publishers and advertising aggregators that allows them to deliver targeted advertisements to mobile handsets. The service ties ads to specific multimedia applications like reading digital newspaper content, watching TV, listening to music or looking at directions on maps

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Carnival Of The Mobilists #63

Software Everywhere hosts this week's Carnival of the Mobilists

This week, the theme focused on Mobile Web 2.0 and the Internet of Things. Take a peek at what is probably the weeks best summary of mobile pondering.