Monday, April 30, 2007

Pondering Primate Off To RFID Journal Conference

I will be pondering from the RFID Journal Conference in Orlando.

Hope to have some great Physical World Connection updates and pictures to present.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Washington Nationals Use Mobile Barcodes For Tickets

From Moldova Washington Nationals to deliver tickets to mobile phones

The US people (?) can now be happy, because the Washington Nationals, MLB Advanced Media and announced that the Nationals have become the first major organization in the U.S. to deliver event tickets to mobile phones.

Using technology provided by, the Tickets@Phone program allows users to have their tickets sent to their phone via MMS or picture message.

The message includes a unique barcode and standard ticket information. The ticket received is scanned from the phone at a designated gate, allowing users to quickly enter the ballpark

Friday, April 27, 2007

Nokia And Mobile Carriers Team Up For Mobile Wallet

From TechShout Nokia and Mobile Carriers Provide Mobile Wallet

Nokia and several mobile telecom carriers have all teamed-up for a global initiative that will transform mobile phones into wallets, a wireless telecoms interest group announced on Wednesday.

Through this novel plan, consumers will be able to use a phone as a wallet or as an access card simply by waving it over a wireless reader - and in some cases punching a PIN number into the phone - similar to how travelers in Tokyo and London access public transport.

Nokia, along with two other leading cell phone makers Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics, will set in a wireless chip into its phones.

In a statement, Mifare and Felica said, “By combining this secure chip with an NFC chip, a universal contactless IC (integrated circuit) platform can be created for mobile phones.”

The Economist Reviews Physical World Connection With "When Everything Connects"

This week's The Economist has a great summary on Physical World Connection, or the "Internet of Things", called "When Everything Connects".

The ability for devices (more than PCs and mobile phones) to connect (or have the ability to connect to the Net) will offer some exciting applications. The ability for individuals and corporations to connect/interact via the Net, created new multibillion dollar companies/industries (Google, eBay, Amazon, YouTube). This also allowed economies to become so much more efficient.

What industries and companies will be created when any type of device can connect to the Internet? How efficient will this make an economy?

Phase 2 of the Internet, when physical objects can be connected to tne Net, using a Physical World Hyperlink, offers some exciting times ahead.

Why do I think The Next Google or Next Microsoft is this application? Google is so successful because they offer the ability to find anything on the Internet which consists of billions of websites. Imagine that same function to find OR control any device connected to the Net.

So far the mobile phone has been getting all the attention. Around 2.8 billion are already in use, with a further 1.6m being added every day. The phones themselves are improving at a cracking pace. Yet this boom is also spilling over into other areas of wireless communications, used for linking machines, sensors and objects.

Everybody talks about the emerging markets being the big opportunity for the cellular industry in the next few years, but in the longer run there are going to be a lot more devices talking to each other,” says Paul Jacobs, the boss of Qualcomm, which makes mobile-phone chips.

The phenomenon “could well dwarf previous milestones in the information revolution”, according to a 2001 report entitled “Embedded, Everywhere” by America's National Research Council.

In the years ahead new wireless technologies will appear in a plethora of devices, much as computer chips did in the second half of the 20th century

Verizon And Tribeca Film Use Mobile Barcodes

Verizon Announce Activities at Tribeca Film Fesitval

Verizon announced plans today to make the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival the most innovative and interactive one yet.

Barcode tickets will be delivered directly to winners' wireless phones using text MMS/SMS messages and scanned for accuracy upon entering the venue.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Neomedia's Mobile Barcode Patent Challenged

Until patents have been proven in court, shouldn't they be used as a defense of a business or application?

When companies wave their patents around, until they have been proven in court, doesn't this stifle innovation?

Last Fall the EFF asked for help in debunking a barcode patent.

Today they announced they would be officially challenging it.

EFF Challenges Bogus Patent Threatening Consumer Awareness Products

llegitimate Patent Inhibits Innovation in Market for Mobile Information Access

San Francisco - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) took aim today at a bogus patent threatening innovative technologies that enhance consumer awareness, requesting a reexamination by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO).

NeoMedia Technologies, Inc., claims to own rights to all systems that provide information over computer networks using database-like lookup procedures that rely on scanned inputs, such as a barcode. NeoMedia has used these claims not only to threaten and sue innovators in the mobile information space, but also to intimidate projects focused on increasing awareness among consumers about the social and environmental impact of the products they buy. (red print emphasis is mine).

Numerous Physical World Connection (PWC) companies have expressed concern that this company, and their supporters, are doing just that. (my comment separate from the EFF story)

For example, the Consumer Information Lab at the College of Natural Resources at the University of California at Berkeley uses such technology to examine how health, environmental, and social information affects consumers' shopping behavior and decision-making. Were NeoMedia to control the patent rights to this technology, such projects could be severely limited and potentially shut down.

NeoMedia should not be allowed to use this bogus patent to inhibit consumer awareness, education, or research into the impact of information on consumer choice," said EFF Staff Attorney Jason Schultz. "This is the opposite of 'progress,' something the patent laws are supposed to promote."

EFF's reexamination request shows that the functionality covered by NeoMedia's bad patent was repeatedly included as part of prior patent applications from other companies -- demonstrating that the idea of forming a network connection from scanned items was well-known before NeoMedia made its claim. EFF, in conjunction with Paul Grewal and James Czaja of Day Casebeer Madrid & Batchelder, ask the PTO to revoke the patent based on this and other evidence.

For the full NeoMedia patent reexamination request:

Companies interested in this EFF story might also find this of interest.

Who really "owns" the intellectual property in question?

According to NeoMedia's latest financial filing,

On Page 18 ">All Of The Company’s Assets Are Pledged To Secure Certain Debt Obligations, Which The Company Could Fail To Repay

Pursuant to secured convertible debentures, dated as of March 27, 2007, August 24, 2006 and December 29, 2006, in the principal amount of $7,459,000, $5,000,000 and $2,500,000, respectively, issued to Cornell Capital Partners, LP, the Company was required to secure such secured convertible debentures’ repayment with substantially all of its assets. In the event the Company is unable to repay the secured convertible debentures, it could lose all of its assets and be forced to cease its operations. If the Company is found to be in default under the debentures, the full principal amount of the debentures, together with interest and other amounts owing, may become immediately due and payable. As of December 31, 2006, the Company was in default of a covenant contained in the financing agreements due to the Company’s pending registration statement to register the underlying shares of the convertible instruments not becoming effective by the specified date. (bold print emphasis is mine)

On Page 21
At December 31, 2006 and 2005, approximately 57% and 39%, respectively, of NeoMedia’s total assets used in continuing operations were intangible assets and goodwill, consisting primarily of rights related to NeoMedia’s patents, other intellectual property.

This should develop into an interesting story.

Comments are welcome, but before I get bombarded, note I am not a patent attorney.

In this case, judication appears to rest with the courts.

Intellareturn Is A Physical World Connection Player

Intellareturn's Append solution bridges physical mail with mobile phones. Another billion set of objects will soon get their own "barcode" and will be able to be connected to the Internet via mobile phone.

Add Intellareturn and their Append (physical world hyperlink) to the list of companies that offer Physical World Connection.

The Append service , integrates NFC and related RFID technology applications to the mail. Through its innovative Append® application, postal mailers can now interact with sent mail to view and exchange supplemental rich media and content related to a letter, envelope, postcard or package—just by waving a Near-Field Communication (NFC)-enabled mobile phone over the Intellareturn Smart Stamp®.

Intellareturn's Append® microchip-based "Smart Stamp" system links supplemental text, audio and video files to envelopes. Elliot Klein of Intellareturn Corp. declared this will one day "transform how we utilize envelopes and the postal mail." The Smart Stamp service can be sold as a book of self-adhesive labels or pre-manufactured into envelopes, taking envelope manufacturers into the wireless ecosystem with new business models to store, control and deliver rich-media content.

Business and consumer mailers will soon tap the mobile Internet's power to privately access supplemental documents, video and audio recordings—simply by waving their mobile phone or PC equipped with built-in or add-on NFC reader with a postage-sized "Electronic Stamp" on the addressable side of mailings.

Append opens the digital envelope, moving beyond static and familiar paper mail communications to integrate a rich media experience with postal mailings. Through the Intellareturn process and solution, Append securely links Internet content to bring new interactivity and digital relevance to the postal mail system—one of the biggest traditional paper communications mediums in the world.

These electronic stamps cost less than the price of a traditional first-class stamp. Intellareturn is now creating the ecosystem and standards to make this new technology and postal capability available

Through the Intellareturn process and solution, Append securely links Internet content to bring new interactivity and digital relevance to the postal mail system—one of the biggest traditional paper communications mediums in the world.

Intellareturn Corp., a New York City-based mobile services company founded by Elliot Klein, Benoit Richard and Ian S. Gertler, transforms traditional postal mail with NFC and related wireless technologies and bridges it with the mobile Web ecosystem

Carnival Of The Mobilists #70

This week Michael Mace at Mobile Mobility hosts the 70th edition of the Carnival of the Mobilists.

It's always interesting to see what some of the top mobile bloggers are pondering.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

XXScan Offers Complete Physical World Connection Mobile Marketing And Commerce Solution

XXtreme Measures with their XXScan platform , is no stranger to the Pondering Primate.

This time last year I said they offered the most complete physical world connection mobile marketing package.

Xxtreme Measures, LLC is a technology based marketing company with offices in the U.S., Japan, Brazil, UK, and China. XXtreme's Xxtreme Pay, Inc Merchant Services and Mobile Payment Technology that specializes in m-commerce, e-commerce, T-commerce and have build a unique off-deck and On-deck physical world connection solution.

Today they are unveiling XxScan that uses XXCodes to link the physical world to the Internet. XxScan offers an end to end solution from Code+Application+Payment Gateway+Merchant Services..... a one stop shop.

They provided physical world connection marketing campaigns with Time Warner, a major movie launch .

XxScanTM provides easy access to the content when related to a unique Interactive XxCodeTM barcodes.

Simply point your camera phone at the Xx-CodesTM or enter a 7 digit premium code in software and you are instantly directed to the associated content -music,
videos, media, graphics, text’s, pictures, applications and more.

XxScan TM eliminates the need for manual multi-key-tap-entry and lets you get to content faster!

Xxscan is focusing on spreading Xxscan's XxCodes virally on multi platforms, like MySpace .

To download the XXScan application or point your mobile browser to or .

supported phones

US and Interntaional Carriers

Friday, April 20, 2007

Nokia Mobile Codes In Beta....What's Next?

Physical World Connection gets a big boost.

Nokia starts offering the ability to create and read Mobile Codes. Microsoft offers the ability to create your own 2d codes too. Recently the largest consumer good packaging company in the world announced they would be placing them on packaging.

I think the chicken and egg are pretty much covered here. To complete the loop, a social network site should starting offering the ability to create and scan 2d codes too. Let the targeted demographic determine the creative applications for these codes.

The quicker consumers and corporations can create their own 2d codes (physical world hyperlinks) through a universal platform, the quicker PWC gets adopted.

On Nokia's Beta Site , they are offering the ability to create a 2d code (Mobile Code), and several software applications (downloadable), that allow you to scan the Mobile Codes with a Nokia camera phone. If you have a Nokia N93, N93i, N95 or E90, you will find the Nokia barcode reader preinstalled on your device, ready to scan mobile codes around you.

If the carriers that work with the compatible Nokia phones were smart, they would start offering the ability to create Mobile Codes (physical world hyperlinks) on their site.

If I am Nokia, I would be looking for sites that allow individuals to continuously generate content. Know which ones I would target first?

Can you see how Google could incorporate 2d code creating ability into their advertising mix?

What are 2D codes?
'Mobile codes' are in fact 2D codes, two-dimensional codes that can hold much more data than ordinary barcodes - linear 1D codes - due to their matrix structure.

The Mobile Code for The Pondering Primate.

In what format are the mobile codes I have created?
We like open standards: the two currently available open-standard formats for 2D codes are Datamatrix (DM) and Quick Response (QR). Our site uses currently the Datamatrix standard. Some of the readers proposed on this site can read QR codes as well, including the Nokia barcode reader

Learn more about Nokia's Mobile Code project

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Microsoft Colorful Barcode Followup And How It Affects Google

Google may be kicking Microsoft's butt in the PC search space, but Mister Softee has unveiled and acquired some interesting applications that could make them a formidable player in the mobile space.

Microsoft, using a mobile phone, is actually starting to link objects in the physical world, to the Internet.

Yesterday Microsoft's colorful 2d barcode (HCCB) announcement will have a profound impact on Physical World Connection (PWC). The multicolor 2d barcode technology was developed by Microsoft Research to assist in the identification of commercial audiovisual works such as motion pictures, video games, broadcasts, digital video recordings and other media.

In the last few months Microsoft has introduced a:
speech recogntion browser
1d barcode scanner
2d barcode scanner
mobile image recognition engine and an
RFID browser

Is Microsoft developing the operating system for the "Internet of Things"?

Having a day to ponder, I see enormous opportunities for Microsoft in the mobile marketing space and makes my prediction even more likely.

After the DoubleClick-Google deal, it is more important than ever that Microsoft try to "own" the mobile marketing space.

Google, while they are dabbling in print and radio, is still pretty much a digital world player. How will Google connect the physical world to the Net? How will they continue to dominate the Internet advertising space if they are only using SMS for mobile marketing?

See why Google should be, or maybe is, looking at these guys and will offer a 2d code creating site/application. This acquisition would allow Google to offer clients the ability to connect almost ANY physical object to the Internet using existing 1d codes or newly created 2d codes. It would also add billions of objects in their database.

What happens if Microsoft buys them first?

A big transformation will come when physical objects/content are/is linked to the Internet and Microsoft is already in the lead there. I don't see that same size change or demand occurring in trying to make digital content physical.

Once the group starts issuing the barcodes, studios and producers will be able to link their Web sites to that database.

Did Microsoft indirectly just land the entire entertainment industry as a mobile marketing client? What is the next big component, that the entertainment industry uses directly for promotions, that Microsoft should go after? Who is producing the next generation barcode for Physical World Connection?

Thoughts, comments?

Mobile Marketing Association Discusses 2D Code Adoption

Laura Marriott, the Executive Director of the Mobile Marketing Association, has a nice story at ClickZ on the progress of 2d codes and Physical World Connection (PWC).

Laura talks about how 2d codes are being used in a couple recent mobile marketing campaigns. She also interviews the CEO of Scanbuy for his thoughts on PWC.

Also known as QR codes, these allow consumers to use their wireless devices to interact in a graphical manner with traditional and digital media. The unique, two-dimensional bar codes, which can be placed on any item, allow the consumer to take a picture using their MMS (camera phone functionality) on a mobile device. Then, through bar code reading software, the 2D code is interpreted to provide product information, downloads, and more. 2D codes are a visual system allowing consumers to access relevant information much like short codes, IVR or other mobile media techniques.

The Paris transport system launched an interactive campaign using 2D codes with New York-based Scanbuy. The consumer can scan a code and see when the next bus or subway will arrive. There are over 160 bar codes in a single station!

I asked Jonathan Bulkeley, CEO of Scanbuy , when we might see 2D applications come to the U.S. Obstacles to adoption here include lack of camera phone (MMS) consumer adoption, as well as cost-effective pricing models.

Demand on the advertiser side is huge. Advertisers get it , says Bulkeley. Print publishers are especially interested in 2D campaigns and what the visual opportunity can do for them.

Cosmo Girl launched an application with Mobot last year based on pure image recognition. Cosmo Girl readers were encouraged to take photos with their mobile device of ads or features in the publication and send them to the magazine for a chance to win prizes. The Cosmo Girl application wasn't based on 2D codes, but rather image recognition. Bulkeley says image recognition is the “holy grail, but making it a reality is years away for a number of reasons."

Pondering Primate readers might find Jonathan Bulkeley's "brick and mortar to Internet" transition background a bit interesting. He is no stranger to transformation and prior art patent disputes. During his term as CEO of, filed a lawsuit against, claiming was infringing on their "one click to buy" patent. The updating of US patent law to account for the Internet age started to pick up steam at this time.

The outcome? Let's just say innovation trumped prior art.

Yogi Berra might say "This is like deja vu all over again".

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Microsoft Adds Color And FeaturesTo Barcode Scanning

Things are really starting to heat up in the Physical World Connection space. I see lots of interesting physical world connection applications here. Microsoft creates their own unique 2 dimensional code (2d code) and signs a licensing deal with the major bar code numbering agency.

Will Microsoft and the ISAN create a "registry" for physical world objects that can be connected to the Internet?

Microsoft has a 2d code scanning application for a camera phone, and a 1d code scanning application.

Because DuPont and Microsoft are launching Physical World Connection platforms, this seems even more unnecessary now.

Microsoft's HCCB code offers authentication as well as a connection to the Internet.

From IT Jungle Microsoft breaks the color barrier for barcode

The IT industry has seen various improvements in labeling technology, starting with simple two-dimensional barcodes, more advanced three-dimensional barcodes, and, finally, radio frequency identification (RFID), the "barcode killer." Now, Microsoft is trying to infuse new life into the tired black-and-white barcoding scheme with a new colorized barcode format.

The High Capacity Color Barcodes are expected to start showing up on DVD discs later this year.

According to Gavin Jancke, director of engineering for Microsoft Research and the inventor of the new high capacity color barcode (HCCB) format, color barcodes hold more information and look better than traditional black-and-white barcodes.

Microsoft declined to disclose financial terms of the agreement with the ISAN International Agency. The PC and mobile-phone software needed to read the high-capacity bar codes will be available for free.

What will this do to the PWC space?

On Monday, Microsoft announced that the International Standard Audiovisual Number International Agency ((ISAN-IA), the Swiss agency charged with administering the ISAN numbering system, has licensed HCCB technology and plans to incorporate it into an authentication system for weeding out legitimate motion pictures, video games, broadcasts, and digital video recordings from forgeries.

In addition to authentication, HCCB has other uses. As the technology improves, Microsoft envisions barcodes being displayed on TV or computer screens, on movie posters or DVD or CD cases, or on magazine ads or billboards. To get more info, consumers would scan these color barcodes with their camera-equipped cell phones or Web cams.

New security features can also be incorporated into the color barcode. Microsoft cites a company called DatatraceDNA that plans to use HCCB to build anti-counterfeiting security protection features that could be added during the manufacturing process of most products. The company refers to this process as Digital Nanoparticle Authentication, or DNA.

Jancke has a European patent on the High Capacity Color Barcode, and a U.S. patent is pending.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

China Uses 2D Barcodes For Mobile Ads

This article does a good job of summarizing the Chinese Physical World Connection players.

From Business Week China:Cracking the Mobile Ad Biz

The lucrative potential of the mainland's tech-starved mobile advertising market could be unlocked by two-dimensional barcodes (2d codes).

A new kind of mobile advertising technology, however, could be the key that unlocks the country's 461 million mobile phone screens to advertisers.

The technology uses two-dimensional barcodes, a more evolved cousin of the humble Universal Product Code found on groceries, to create an advertising channel with an aura of science-fiction.

Two-dimensional barcodes can be used to bridge the online and offline worlds, turning, say, a coffee table into a physical hyperlink, and your mobile phone into a giant mouse pointer. You "click" the barcode on the coffee table by taking a picture of it with the camera on your phone, and then are automatically taken online.

For a three-month period that ended in February, Chinese barcode pioneer Gmedia provided Starbucks with barcodes to display on tabletops in the chain's 50 outlets in Beijing. When a user clicked on one, they were linked to a website that allowed them to redeem a free coffee.

Another company trying to cash in on physical hyperlinking is Hong Kong-based MyClick . Although it uses a patented photo recognition technology, not barcodes, the end result is virtually identical. Any visual medium - a magazine page, billboard or television commercial - can carry an image framed by a special border. The user simply snaps a photo of the framed image.

"Advertisers will know where someone was when they clicked the ad and guess what they were doing at that moment," said Sage Brennan of research firm JLM Pacific Epoch. "If [barcode-reading software] is in every handset around the country, the incentive to insert a tiny code [in advertisements] is huge."

Gmedia and Inspiry , which promotes its own standard, have announced partnerships with China Mobile. Inspiry has also persuaded handset manufacturers to pre-install its software in "hundreds of thousands" of units, according to Lawrence Tse, a general partner at venture capitalist firm Gobi Partners , which has invested in the company

Pondering Primate Off To IronMan Arizona

I am heading out to Tempe for IronMan Arizona.

The IronMan racing season starts this weekend in Tempe.

An IronMan race tests the body as well as the mind. After 8 hours of doing anything physical the mind takes over.

The race is on Sunday April 15, and you can watch the results live at IronMan Live

My bib number is 1175.

Look closely and you might see MonkeeDo

Air Force Uses Mobile Barcodes For Recruitment

I like seeing a major advertising agency like Omnicom Group starting to incorporate physical world hyperlinks in their campaigns.

It looks like this campaign is using EZ Codes .

From AdAge Air Force turns to mobile marketing to up recruitment

On April 13, fans wandering around the sidelines of the Texas Motor Speedway in Dallas will be the first to experience the mobile arm of GSD&M's "Do Something Amazing" campaign for the United States Air Force.

The Air Force said it has hit all its recruitment goals since hiring the Omnicom Group agency, and with 81% of the Air Force's target audience toting cellphones, mobile was an obvious next step.

The tease? As part of the Air Force's "Do Something Amazing" tour, which makes stops at motocross, Nascar and other sporting events around the country, Bluetooth transmitters will be set up in areas around the tracks and stadiums. The transmitters ping any mobile device set to accept messages sent via Bluetooth, sending consumers invitations to stop by the tour and "check out what it's like to do something amazing."

Once inside the event space, consumers will find pods dedicated to each of the career paths the Air Force has to offer. Within those pods will be stickers sporting QR quick-response codes that will enable users to download documentary-style videos to their phones about Air Force careers.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Telefonica Espana Adopts Scanbuy's Mobile Barcode Platform

The largest wireless operator in Spain adopts Scanbuy's physical world connection platform.

From CBS Marketwatch Scanbuy and Telefonica Espana launch mobile barcode solution

Scanbuy, Inc., a global provider of wireless commerce solutions, today announced the completion of its mobile barcode platform created for Telefonica Moviles Espana , the largest wireless operator in Spain (TME).

The platform is the first of its kind in Europe to combine multiple uses of barcodes on mobile handsets

Scanbuy's platform supports TME's strategy to facilitate access to mobile content and use of the handset as a transaction device for its 21.5 million subscribers and will be the first integrated platform combining couponing/ticketing and print-to-mobile. Atos Origin , an international information technology services provider, has been selected to provide systems integration and project management services to bring the solution to market.

By selecting Scanbuy's mobile barcode technology, TME will offer its Movistar subscribers access to content by simply pointing their camera phone at a two-dimensional barcode, to be found in advertising, on TV, business cards or websites. Scanbuy's client application ensures quick and easy access to online data and multimedia services from a wide range of handsets. Scanbuy's service platform will allow content providers to create, manage, and monitor their barcodes and to launch couponing and ticketing campaigns by sending barcodes within SMS or MMS.

"Being selected by Telefonica Moviles Espana, the leading mobile operator in Spain, is not only proof of Scanbuy's best of breed mobile barcode technology but it also positions Scanbuy as the global industry leader," said Jonathan Bulkeley, Chief Executive Officer of Scanbuy, Inc.

Jameson Whiskey Uses ShotCodes For Mobile Campaign

Jameson Whiskey has launched a unique campaign in Spain using branded ShotCodes.

ShotCodes are circular barcodes especially developed for camera mobile phones. Campaign participants can use these ShotCodes as offline hyperlinks by installing the ShotCode software on their mobile phones. They aim their phone’s camera at a Jameson ShotCode, click, and they’re automatically connected to the Jameson Whiskey campaign site where they participate in a prize draw for an all expense paid trip to Hollywood.

The Jameson Whiskey ShotCode is the first branded ShotCode to be released, it contains the Jameson wap-site address: as well as and has the Jameson logo in its center. The campaign is set to run for a year and will be covered on free postal cards and outdoor advertising.

“ShotCode’s success has always been related to its unique shape. Now that we’ve finally launched our branded versions we’re certain that integration of ShotCodes into visual campaigns will be even simpler” says Dennis Hettema, founder & creative director of OP3 , the company behind ShotCode.

Jameson’s Spanish management wholeheartedly agrees as they chose ShotCode from amongst the wide selection of available mobile barcode scanning technologies because of its distinctly recognizable shape, ease of use and unlimited amount of application areas.

ShotCode’s road to success continues as they now sport over 6,000 clients worldwide including companies such as The Coca Cola Company, Nokia, Heineken and Xbox. Together they’ve created over 400,000 ShotCodes that have been placed on over 50 million products.

In a market with a high amount of competition, OP3 consistently launches the biggest campaigns making the company the fore-runner of the mobile barcode scanning market outside of Japan and Korea.

ShotCode is the flagship product of OP3, a Swedish / Dutch organization in the proximity marketing space. Launched in 2003 and with customers such as Heineken, Coca Cola, Xbox and Holland Innovation

Campaign by Publiquest

Monday, April 09, 2007

Out With The Old, In With The New

I thought of cute lines that include Verizon, "remember when?" and a couple others.

Sometimes a picture does a better job of telling a story.

Look closely below the handset.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Google Offers Local Voice Search.. 1-800-GOOG-411

The speech recognition search engine battle is starting to heat up.

A couple weeks ago Microsoft acquired speech recognition player TellMe. Now Google offers a speech recognition local search application for the phone.

With this application, Google is blending the PC with the mobile phone, and will be creating another revenue stream for keywords.

Can you see the opportunity for "mobile search" and "mobile find" with this application?

Google Voice Local Search is Google’s experimental service to make local-business search accessible over the phone.

To try this service, just dial 1-800-GOOG-411 (1-800-466-4411) from any phone.

Using this service, you can:

* search for a local business by name or category.
You can say "Giovanni's Pizzeria" or just "pizza".

* get connected to the business, free of charge.

* get the details by SMS if you’re using a mobile phone.
Just say "text message".

And it's free. Google doesn’t charge you a thing for the call or for connecting you to the business. Regular phone charges may apply, based on your telephone service provider

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Physical World Connection Summary At CTIA 2007

The CTIA show is always informative in many ways. There are press releases for new products, new(games, search engines, email apps) and numerous companies exhibiting the "next thing" in mobile. My focus is on mobile phones connecting the physical world to the Internet through physical world hyperlinks (PWH).

I have often found the key developments are discovered off the main showroom floor though.

The easiest way to find out what is really happening in this space (and I encourage going to CTIA for this reason) is to talk to the companies that will or can adopt this technology. It is becoming clear which Physical World Connection (PWC) companies are getting their platforms adopted, and who is still trying to get traction.
Pondering Primate
I saw all of the PWC companies on my PWC list that were there at the show, and discovered a couple new ones that I will be adding shortly.

Last week I saw a 1d code (barcode) scanning solution for camera phones that doesn't require any special lens attachment and works on major handsets. In addition, this application can read 2d codes as well. This solution could play a key role in the Physical World Connection space.

More on this company later.

In my opinion, the 2nd quarter of 2007 will be the tipping point for Physical World Connection adoption in Europe. One major wireless carrier has already embedded a PWC platform. Two additional major carriers should be announcing a PWC platform adoption shortly as well.

I had the chance to see some pretty exciting upcoming 2d code mobile marketing campaigns. These campaigns include scanning codes on various objects for videos, coupons, and a host of other permission based marketing. The brands using physical world hyperlinks (PWH) is impressive.

One of the biggest reality shows will be incorporating PWH into their upcoming season. This campaign and the PWH become part of the show and could be a terrific way to educate consumers on PWC. I can see how a brand could piggyback just one show and one PHW into a major campaign.

A major recording star is incorporating PWH into a campaign for their next album.

One PWC is finding a way to utilize a captive audience and incorporate their platform. Many will say "why didn't we think of that?".

Microsoft throwing their hat in the PWC ring is shaking up things a bit too. There were some interesting comments from the carriers and PWC cos about this.

2006 was a year some of the PWC players would like to forget too. Players in the space will know what event I am referring to.

Probably the two biggest developments I came away with at CTIA are:

1. a company with a 1d code (and 2d code) scanning application that is still in stealth mode
2. the impact DuPont and their 2d code announcement is having on the Physical World Connection space.

These two developments could allow all existing consumer goods and newly created consumer goods (packaging) to be connected to the Internet.

The figures for Internet advertising only continue to grow, and companies that measure clicks/ traffic on ads are being courted. I wonder what value will be place on a permission based marketing solution that can deliver ads/content directly to a mobile phone when the consumer is holding their product in hand?

There are lots of Physical World Connection opportunities for companies or individuals with vision

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Nextcode Uses Physical World Hyperlinks For Boston's Freedom Trail

Nextcode is using physical world hyperlinks for tourism.

For those of you who are planning to visit the Boston Freedom Trail in the next few months, you're in for a special treat: A group of young talented people will help you learn more about the points along the trail by watching a video, listening to audio or other pieces of content that will be available on the web, to your own mobile phone. You will be able to learn more and thus enjoy your visit much more.

The project is called "Freedom Trail Reloaded" or otherwise has also earned the name DiMO (Digital+Mobilities Project)

A more detailed explanation .

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Camera Phones Connect Bar Codes To The Net

NY Times has a story on Physical World Connection titled Bar codes talk to your cell phone .

They discuss a few of the applications, and companies, that are using 2d codes as physical world hyperlinks. However, this story fails to address some recent events that are helping to determine which companies are gaining traction quicker than others.

The most promising way to link cellphones with physical objects is a new generation of bar codes: square-shaped mosaics of black and white boxes that can hold much more information than traditional bar codes. The cameras on cellphones scan the codes, and then the codes are translated into videos, music or text on the phone screens.

In Japan, the codes did not become mainstream until the largest cellphone companies started loading the code readers on all new phones a few years ago. Now, millions of people have the capability built into their phones, and businesses, in turn, are using them all over — on billboards, street signs, published materials and even food packaging

A couple significant events took place in the last couple weeks that I feel should be included. These events should allow Physical World Connection (PWC) to get adopted quicker.

First, 3GVision, which has empowered more than two-thirds of the handsets in Japan, announced they are taking their market-leading direct-to-mobile-web barcode solution worldwide.

A key issue facing adoption for Physical World Connection is what 2d code and scanning application should be used. Will there, or is there a "standard" 2d code?

The next event, and in my opinion the biggest catalyst for PWC, DuPont Packaging & Industrial Polymers (P&IP) announced they will be licensing Scanbuy’s interactive 2D (two dimensional) barcode technology for packaging applications.

DuPont, probably the largest consumer good packaging company in the world, can create the 2d code "standard" on all consumer good packaging for mobile devices going forward.

Some of the biggger market consumer items that could be "turned on" immediately include various beverage bottles (water, soda, beer), just about any item you find in a supermarket, home improvement store and mall.

DuPont also provides packaging for the fast-food entities. This is an area I would look for mobile marketing campaigns.

When DuPont starts offering 2d codes (physical world hyperlinks) on the numerous packaging items AND brands they represent, this will eliminate one of the biggest hurdles for PWC. The decison of which 2d code (barcode) and which barcode scanning application will already be made for brands and mobile marketing companies.

For an example. The 2d codes placed on a softdrink bottle DuPont produces aren't just for Coke, these bottles are the same ones used by every soft drink brand.

The largest consumer packaging good company will force the others (phone manuf, wireless carriers) to adapt/implement their business plans around this standard

Dupont will also be creating the 21st Century Barcode .

After meeting with most of the physical world connection companies this week at CTIA, and a couple wireless carriers, the picture is getting much clearer.