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.