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.
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