Thursday, April 19, 2007

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".

1 comment:

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