Thursday, May 31, 2007

Avril Lavigne Wants To Stay In Touch With You On Your Phone

Expect to see more entertainers, sports teams start using SMS messaging as a way to keep in touch with their fans.
Avril Lavigne
What is the value of having the ability to send an appropriate text messages to the 74 million phones that text messaged American Idol? The reality shows are building a very valuable database, the question is what will they do with it?

Nettwerk has partnered with 4INFO to bring Avril Lavigne's fans real-time mobile updates and live messages from Avril. Fans can sign up for these messages on Avril's official website and Myspace page.

Fans can also text the word “Avril” to 44636 (4INFO) to receive a menu of the latest Avril-related news, gear, promotions and concert and tour information.

Because the phrase/shortcode 4INFO is so easy to remember, they are becoming the lead SMS portal. Soon they could start selling keywords to appropriate advertisers in a form of "keyword registry".

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Microsoft's Windows Live Barcode Site Back Up

Roger at All About Mobile Life spots the reappearance of Microsoft's Windows Live Barcode

Here's how Microsoft is building the platform for Physical World Connection:
Microsoft Live Barcode
Besides Microsoft's new High Capacity Color Barcode for DVDs and their barcode scanning Advanced User Resource Annotation AURA

They have introduced or are working on a:
speech recogntion browser
1d barcode scanner
2d barcode scanner
mobile image recognition engine and an
RFID browser

Which Physical World Connection company does Microsoft's Don Dodge pick as a company to watch in 2007?


Why? Because their barcode scanning platform is getting embedded on the major handsets, they are landing wireless carriers AND they have an exclusive agreement with the world's largest consumer good packaging company, DuPont.

DuPont will start placing 2d codes on various consumer goods. These can include soda bottles, cereal boxes, DVD covers, major fast-food chain item wrappers etc.

Between Microsoft offering consumers/corporations the ability to create their own 2d codes and Dupont placing 2d codes on consumer goods (in addition to the 1d codes already there), this combination will offer plenty of physical objects to be linked to the Internet with mobile marketing campaigns.

What should Google do now?

MobileCamp NYC PWC Highlights

Rich at Mobilitee presents the highlights on Physical World Connection at MobileCamp NYC meeting last week. MobileCamp NYC
Physical Hyperlinks:

There were multiple talks on physical hyperlinking. One was focused on Semapedia , the other spoke about it more generally.

Point and click for physical world
QR codes contain the actual URL data - not a reference to a lookup table
Competing codes - Nextcode, SHotcode, Qode… most are serial numbers into tables
FeliCa is HUGE in Japan
Yellow Arrow SMS campaigns in London would be faster with QR codes
These codes scale to building size
RFID could replace QR codes (agree with consumer goods)
There’s a disconnect between the picture and the code doing the action now - confusing
People are uncomfortable taking a QR code pic in public

A couple issues I still see with PWC.

What or where this QR code give me? Outside of Semapedia ("Internet Dictionary") there is no mainstream application that encourages people to click on a code. Price comparison is the most discussed PWC application but that is for 1d codes (barcodes).

One of the reasons I like the proprietary code players Nextcode and BeeTagg is because their codes are distinguishable AND you know what information you will get when their codes are scanned.

There has to be a reason, or an expected outcome, to get people to scan a code. Curiosity won't drive adoption.

This can be resolved very easily.

Microsoft's Surface Has Deep Ramifications For Physical World Connection

"Effortless interaction with all forms of digital content through physical objects"..A great way to describe Physical World Connection.

Physical World Connection doesn't have to use a mobile phone, it just has to connect a physical object to the Internet using a physical world hyperlink.

Microsoft's Surface allows physical objects, with barcodes (and I would expect RFID tags soon) to be scanned when placed on this interactive table. Beneath the screen there are five cameras that use Microsoft's object-recognition software.Microsoft Surface

Until camera phones are able to read 1D codes (barcodes), this could be a great start for Physical World Connection.

Would Microsoft ever offer Surface kiosks? If so, where should they put them? Colleges, malls, retail stores, sporting events?

TMobile is placing them in stores and letting customers get information on new phones, download ringtones and games. In Harrah's (casinos), users can place their reward card on screen and make purchases.

Microsoft launches new product category, Surface Computing

Surface turns an ordinary tabletop into a vibrant, dynamic surface that provides effortless interaction with all Microsoft Surfaceforms of digital content through natural gestures, touch and physical objects. Beginning at the end of this year, consumers will be able to interact with Surface in hotels, retail establishments, restaurants and public entertainment venues.

The intuitive user interface works without a traditional mouse or keyboard.

Surface also features the ability to recognize physical objects that have identification tags similar to bar codes. This means that when a customer simply sets a wine glass on the surface of a table, a restaurant could provide them with information about the wine they’re ordering, pictures of the vineyard it came from and suggested food pairings tailored to that evening’s menu.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Text To Cell and Sell A House

A great idea and long overdue. A short code and keyword replaces a phone number and URL as a quick way to receive information.

Realtors place a shortcode and keyword (item number) on a For Sale for prospective buyers to receive more info. Any print advertiser could offer this (and will).Newspapers, magazines, coupon etc.

The realtor could use the database of cell phone numbers (if permission has been given) for leads to mortage financing cos, Home Depot etc.

From Wireless DevNet Cell A House Makes For Sale Signs Interactive

Cell a House takes the concept of the paper information flyer to the next level by making the "For Sale" sign interactive, increasing its effectiveness as a marketing tool for the selling agent.

Home buyers who stop to look at a house for sale can send a text message to a 5 digit short code, and receive detailed information and pictures instantly to their mobile phone. Simultaneously, the selling agent is sent and email or text message with the phone number of the potential buyer.

Cell a House offers a free trial for licensed realtors. Agents can list one property and use the system until that property is sold.

Experience the Cell a House service first-hand by texting H0000 to 95495 from your mobile phone for information and photos of a demo home for sale.

Bandwidth....What Is It Good For, Absolutely Everything

Can we ever have too much bandwidth?

BusinessWeek has a neat story called More Bandwidth Than You Can Use/

The race to provide even bigger ones (data pipes) is intensifying among telecom and cable TV companies, as well as wireless network operators.

Some highlights:

Much as richer Web site graphics and music downloads idled millions of dial-up modems, the smart money is betting that future online video offerings—from high-definition TV and future iterations of YouTube-type video-sharing sites to sophisticated online gaming and video phone calls—will turn your average U.S. home into a 50Mbps bandwidth hog within three years.

-two or three people watching HDTV shows, playing music from the Internet, playing online games—the bandwidth demands are going to be gigantic

-Microsoft is adding Internet-based TV capability to its Xbox 360 Elite, and Sony will likely follow suit with its PlayStation 3. Thus equipped, households with a gamer or two will likely eat into their available bandwidth faster than others

Re: Interactive TV American Idol voting--Sure, it's easy to vote by phone or wireless text message. But the upstream bandwidth—which users need to upload data to the Internet rather than sucking it down—will be there to allow votes from the comfort of a remote control.

Re: Tivo/DVR users:--As you forward through the ads, you might see something that catches your eye and slow down to watch it. That's going to take more upstream capacity

There also will be a growing number of bandwidth-sipping devices around the house, which as yet aren't typically connected to the network. From heating and cooling systems to alarms and surveillance cameras, an increasing number of devices will be plugging into the network.

A couple I would like to include.

What about mobile phones and physical objects? Mobile phones will soon be tapping into the broadband connection at home. Physical objects with RFID tags and barcodes will soon be Internet accessable.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Eyeball Metrics For The Mobile Phone..Could Google Become The Dynamic Nielsen Rating Corp?

After Google announced their TV Ads beta test, I pondered what could happen if Google could offer TV advertising in the form of "pay-per-view".

In addition to "pay-per-click" ads on the PC, what could happen if they could measure the eyeballs on the TV and the mobile phone and deliver relevant and timely ads based on actual eyeballs.Primate's Pondering

Why couldn't Google become the realtime, dynamic Nielsen Rating corporation? They are missing one component though. What does Google need in order to make it happen?

Peter Suciu from TechCrunch has a summary of Mobile TV Viewing and provides the clues to what Google needs to make it happen.


-a company that specializes in measuring TV viewing

-will provide figures on just how many viewers of video programming and of video ads there are on mobile handsets today

-this information could help provide the U.S. TV networks with the data they need as they look at advertising possibilities on the mobile phone platform

Thoughts, comments?

Semapedia Now In Chinese, Polish And Japanese

I was beginning to wonder what happed to Semapedia

Semapedia Chinese
They are officially announcing the traditional Chinese Version of Semapedia. Check the site out. They have also included Polish and Japanese characters.Semapedia Polish

A short URL has been added to each tag with a short ID for non QR code readers.Semapedia Japanese

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Google Mobile Patent Shows A True Mobile Portal

Not really a surprise, but Google has plans and patents around a very comprehensive mobile info, or mobile "find" portal.

Russell Shaw at ZDNet uncovers one of Google's patents covering mobile search. Great find Russell.

Search for a restaurant via portal, and then dial from one click, get a map, or use Google GPS for direction. Keywords, maps, GPS coordinates, use same results in a different location (mobile favorites)

It appears Google covers mobile search using a keyboard, voice and GPS coordinates to identify and direct a mobile user to relevant query. Your "find" query stays in a "loop" and Google is there to offer additional services, providing a true mobile portal.

The abstract:

A computer-implemented method is disclosed that includes receiving on a mobile device a search query associated with a geographic location, providing one or more search results in response to the search query, the search results each being associated with a geographic location, and presenting on a graphical display of the computing device icons corresponding to each search result and also corresponding to a key on the computing device.

Google Mobile Patent

To see Russell's very extensive review on this patent.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

White Space Coalition Submits Superfast Wireless Broadband Device

From Ars Technica Superfast Wireless Broadband Device Prototype Submitted to FCC

The White Space Coalition is comprised of Dell, EarthLink, Google, HP, Intel, Microsoft, and Philips Electronics, submitted a second prototype white space wireless broadband device to the FCC for testing.

The goal of the White Space Coalition is simple: take advantage of unused television spectrum to provide wireless broadband. Although analog television transmissions will cease in February 2009, digital TV signals will continue to use the spectrum between 2MHz and 698MHz.

They want to bring high-speed Internet access to consumers...over television airwaves. Idle TV channels, knows as "white space" can be used to deliver Internet into homes and offices.

That is a highly desirable chunk of spectrum because the signals can easily pass through walls and other solid objects, giving them a much greater reach than WiFi or even WiMAX, both of which operate in higher frequency bands.

White space devices could use the so-called white space in the current analog television spectrum (2MHz to 698MHz) to deliver wireless broadband service.

Former FCC chief engineer Edmond Thomas (and current technology policy advisor for the law firm of Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis, which is representing the Coalition) told Ars that he believes white space broadband could deliver download speeds of up to 80Mbps, which would make it extremely competitive with fiber-to-the-premises solutions like Verizon's FiOS networks.

It's proof-of-concept hardware intended to demonstrate that it's possible to sense the presence of TV signals and transmit wireless IP data in a way that does not interfere with TV.

Google TV Ads Beta Test...Could They Offer "Pay Per View"?

Do you know how Google could create "Pay Per View" TV ads? Instead of "pay-per-click", ads are delivered through a "Pay-Per-View" system.

What is the one key thing they need for this application? They have mastered search and advertising using a PC. What could allow them to dominate the TV advertising industry.... (answer below).

Google TV
Adverlab spots Google TV Ads Beta Sign-up in Sponsored Links.

Last month Google announced their TV Ads trial. Their are now advertising this service through ads.

What is it?

An end-to-end digital system for buying, selling, measuring, and delivering television ads.

Launch your campaign quickly and efficiently through our totally automated process. It's easy-just send us your video ad, set your own budget and decide when and where you'd like your ads to air.

Apply for the beta test.

I envision an advertising service application that will allow ads to appear dynamically according to people's interests, demographics, viewing habits.

What will happen to TV advertising if companies are only charged if their ad was watched on specific TVs?

Instead of clickthru rate being the metric, we see viewthru rates.

How do they do it?

In order to be able to deliver relevant, timely TV ads, and know WHO WATCHED THEM, they need to tap into the "box" that controls the feed into the home. Google needs to penetrate the box that sits on top of the TV and will soon be a WiFi connection.

That box will be able to tell what programs/ads were watched, movies that were downloaded, sites that are visited. Think of Google offering "real-time Nielsen ratings" for all channels per device in the household.

Do you know what company Google should be looking at?

Thoughts comments?

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Cisco's Chambers Defines Web 2.0

Cisco Systems Chairman and CEO John Chambers said Tuesday that collaboration, powered by Web 2.0 technologies, will jump-start corporate productivity gains for the next several years.

Unified communications tools that enable users to connect "any device to any content over any combination of networks" will empower businesses and their employees to work faster than ever before, Chambers said in a keynote address at Interop Las Vegas 2007.

Sounds like a lot of Physical World Connection in there.

Google Phone, Google Talk Could We Be Seeing Iridium Part2?

A couple things I wonder.

Because Google is the leading portal of information for the PC, and with all of the applications they are introducing that incorporate mobility, wouldn't this be an easy sell?

What other applications should Google embed. Google Phone

What if the Googlephone had built in WiFi capablilty and Google Talk was embedded?

One phone, one phone number anywhere in the world, with Internet access.

If this rumor is true, will this lessen the demand for Apple's iPhone?

Which has greater value on a mobile phone, getting information or being entertained?

I see the iPhone more as an entertainment device, than a communication/information device that Google could offer.

According to one of TechCrunch's Michael Arrington sources, Google may launch mobile service in the UK.

We’ve heard from a good source in the mobile industry that Google may be preparing to launch its own branded mobile network in the UK in the next few weeks. If our source is accurate, Google will become a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) via a deal with UK mobile phone company O2.

We’re hearing that there will be no physical stores for the service, and that signups and customer service will be provided exclusively via a website. A number of Nokia handsets will be offered, all pre-loaded with Google mobile software

One thing Google would have to change and introduce though. Tech support.
As dependent as we have become using the mobile phone, real live people will have to answer tech support 24/7, if they want to have any shot at this market.

Thoughts comments? Does Google have a shot at this, or is this just a great rumor?

Monday, May 21, 2007

Avis Offers Mobile WiFi

Think of the doors (no pun intended) this can open. Unique services could be introduced for the traveler/businessman, but imagine the opportunities for those game players in the back seat.

Avis Rent A Car System is offering customers a wireless Internet service to use in its rented cars, hotel rooms and other places a traveler might go.

The new Avis Connect service, priced at $10.95 per day, can transmit a Wi-Fi signal to multiple laptops and other mobile devices at the same time.

The service is provided with a portable device developed by AutoNet Mobile that gets its Internet connection from a cellphone network. The company declined to disclose which one, though the cellular technology involved suggests that it is being provided by either Verizon Wireless or Sprint Nextel.

The service debuts Monday at San Francisco International Airport and will continue to roll out in the coming weeks in San Jose, Calif., Los Angeles and Newark, N.J.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Pondering Primate Off To Ford's Florida Half Ironman

The Pondering Primate and Monkee Do are off to race in the Ford Florida Half Ironman.

Follow the race and track an athlete at Ironman Live

My bib number is 869.

Trying to earn a spot at the Ironman World Championship 70.3

Microsoft Buys Aquantive....Know What's Next?

A flurry of acquisitions in this space has me pondering.

WPP Group acquires online ad company 24/7 Real Media for $649m

Google buys Doubleclick for $3.1B

Today Microsoft buys online advertiser Aquantive for $6b cash.

The race to measure and deliver advertising via PC is picking up.

It has been said that "50 cents out of every advertising dollar is wasted, and we don't know what 50 cents is". Online ad clicks have increased the effiency of the advertising dollar.

Something to ponder.

What if there was a way to measure (in real time), eyeballs and the download activity on ALL DEVICES connected to the pipe coming in the home?

This would then allow advertisers to deliver relevant and timely ads to ALL of these devices.

How much would this be worth?

Thoughts comments?

Do You Really Have Broadband?

From ARSTechnica Broadband isn't broadband unless it's 2Mbps

Saying that the FCC "has not kept pace with the times or the technology," Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) opened a hearing today into the FCC's methods for measuring broadband availability in the US.

The Broadband Census of America Act, currently in draft form, asks the FCC to increase its broadband threshold speed from 200Kbps to 2Mbps.

The most contentious of these was whether the government should mandate a definition for "high-speed Internet."

Larry Cohen, president of the Communication Workers of America, said that the US is "stuck with a twentieth century Internet" and that he would support increasing the "broadband" definition to 2Mbps

Right now, that definition includes any connection over 200Kbps, which Markey wants to boost more than 10 times. 2Mbps is faster than many current DSL links, so part of the reasoning behind this change appears to have a public relations focus—telecommunications companies will want to boost their offerings to over 2Mbps in order to avoid the stigma of not providing "true" broadband.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

EverMobile Sees Revenue Impact From Mobile Barcodes

Is this the first carrier (outside of Japan), commenting on Physical World Connection revenues?

From TMCNet EverMobile: 10% of Revs Likely From Scanning Solutions In 2008"

Brazilian mobile payment solutions provider EverMobile believes scanning applications have potential to account for 10% of its revenues in 2008, EverMobile business development manager Sergio Goldstein told BNamericas.

Today EverMobile gains 100% of its revenues from financial solutions for cell phones, but it recently established a partnership with US solutions provider Scanbuy , whose software transforms cell phones into barcode scanners via the inbuilt camera.

In Brazil there are about 15mn handsets with cameras, or 20% of the market, and the number is growing, Goldstein said.

EverMobile aims to launch the applications in the third quarter of 2007 in Brazil and Goldstein believes three of the country's main mobile operators could sign up for the solution by year-end.

British Airways To Offer Mobile Barcode Ticketing

From IT Week BA to pilot tickets on mobiles

British Airways (BA) could be the first UK airline to allow passengers to check in and board flights using a barcode (2d code) transmitted as a text message to a mobile phone.

They are looking at sending a barcode to a passenger’s mobile phone using SMS, as well as enabling passengers to log into via a mobile and then have the barcode sent direct from the web site.

BA is not the only airline interested in the potential of mobile ticketing – carriers in Japan, China and Sweden are already running trials of the technology, but a clear business case has yet to be established.

The technology is not quite there yet," said an Iata spokesman. "We need a global standard for barcodes on mobile phones to be developed, as well as standardised scanners and infrastructure at all airports," he said.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Obopay Offers Mobile Commerce Platform With AOL's AIM

Obopay's new plugin allows AIM users to pay friends with just a few mouse clicks.

Obopay , the first comprehensive mobile payment service in the U.S., today announced (pdf) the availability of a new AIM Obopay plugin for users of AOL's AIM service, the largest instant messaging community in the U.S.

This new plugin allows eligible AIM users to launch Obopay and use it to make payments directly from the AIM Buddy List feature. Users can sign up for Obopay and download the free AIM Obopay plugin at

Can you see how AOL could use this with their new mobile marketing division? The buddy list acts as a mobile portal.

With the Obopay plugin on the AIM® service, eligible AIM® users who have signed up with Obopay can link directly to their mobile payment account to immediately send money2 to the mobile phone of any of their AIM® buddies who have signed up for the Obopay service.

What happens if Google unveils an instant messenger application?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

AOL Could Be AOK With Third Screen Media Acquisition

AOL is sitting on a gold mine , let's hope Third Screen taps into it.

With Third Screen's help, AOL can be AOK, not DOA

AOL Acquires Third Screen Media

AOL announced today that it has acquired Third Screen Media, the leading mobile advertising network and mobile ad-serving and management platform provider. Third Screen Media will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of AOL’s division.

Dozens of leading brand advertisers, more than a hundred mobile Web publishers, and major wireless carriers participate in the Third Screen Media network.

Here's what Third Screen and AOL should do:

AOL Could dominate mobile search and mobile advertising with their mobile "buddy list" and Find Me application.

By sending an instant message to a special username of AOL, can’t you let them resolve the query? Instead of sending an IM to an AOL member, you’re sending an SMS/search query to an AOL server requesting/doing a search. Instead of typing in 46645 (GOOGL) or 44636 (4INFO), AOL has created the short code for you with a special username.

Let AOL label this username as MOBLSRCH or TOOL, FIND (any word that is easy to remember) in our buddy list. AOL could automatically add this name when you download or reboot. AOL establishes an easy way to start a mobile search when you IM MOBLSRCH TOOL FIND.

The “Find Me” buddy application is the GPS function, and the buddy list with MOBLSRCH creates the search window. They already have their own mobile search application on 20 million plus cell phones. Will they capitalize on this?

Could AOL become a mobile marketing player?

Nuance Acquires VoiceSignal Technologies

Microsoft just acquired speech recognition browser TellMe.

Google introduces Local Voice Search .

The ability for Physical World Connection to use speech and words (physical world hyperlink), is starting to catch on. A word can be used as a hyperlink.

From Yahoo Nuance to acquire VoiceSignal Technologies

Nuance Communications, Inc. today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire VoiceSignal Technologies, Inc., creating an organization with broad resources, solutions and expertise that will satisfy the accelerating demand for speech-enabled mobile devices and services.

Nuance expects to serve more than one billion consumers within the next three years with voice-based mobile solutions that allow people to simply and effectively navigate, retrieve and transact across the vast and growing universe of content and services available in mobile phones, automobiles and personal navigation devices.

The combined company will include among its mobility customers AOL, AT&T, DaimlerChrysler, Ford, Kyocera, LG, Motorola, Nokia, Palm, Rogers Wireless, Samsung, Sanyo, Sony Ericsson, Sprint, RIM, T-Mobile, Toyota and Vodafone.

Mbarc And Mobiqa Offer Breakthrough In Mobile Ticketing

Mbarc and Mobiqa realised a breakthrough in Mobile ticketing with realising the first self-service scanner fitted in ticket gates.

A leading UK public transport organisation Mobiqa selected the MbarcNewland M8 realising a seamless integration into 2 turnstiles creating convenience for passengers with mobile tickets.

The MbarcNewland M8, a sturdy, high performance and reliable build-in Mobile ticketing scanner is developed for integration into existing self-service systems like: Kiosks, turnstiles, self-service environments, etc.

MbarcNewland auto-ID validation for your mobile business. Just one single product for barcode and RFID reading. Mbarc’s validation all-in-one terminals offer 1D- & 2D-barcode (LCD & printed) and RFID (NFC) readers on location.

-Mobiqa are the world leaders in mobile ticketing and couponing based on the creation, delivery, and redemption of barcodes to mobile phones.

-Mobiqa’s products are available for SMS, MMS and WAP using 1D/2D barcodes.

-Mobiqa’s technology is available in over 30 countries, including the USA and China.

Offering barcodes on mobile phones is the evolution of paper tickets in public transport. Mobile ticketing is convenient and customers don't have to queue up at the ticket office or need a printout from home. Mobile phone ticketing means easy purchases, anywhere, any time and always your ticket with you on your phone. MbarcNewlands M8 enables convenience at the entrance gates scanning and validating Mobile tickets on the go.

Mobiqa recently introduced a mobile ticketing capabilities for Major League Baseball

Monday, May 14, 2007

Wal-Mart Offers Skype To The Masses

Is this the tipping point for VoIP?

How will this impact telcos, cable cos, VoIP equpiment players?

Would Wal-Mart ever consider becoming an Internet provider? eBay, Skype and Wal-Mart could be a formidable online commerce powerhouse.

Skype and Wal-Mart Partner To Bring VoIP To The Masses

Skype, the leading Internet communications company, today announced that it is teaming up with Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, to address the growing popularity and demand for Internet communications among U.S. consumers. Starting today, Wal-Mart is offering Skype Certified™ hardware in the Internet and voice communications area of 1,800 of its stores throughout the country, providing more opportunity and accessibility for people looking for affordable calling options.

Thoughts, comments?

How Mobile Ticketing From Tickets@Phone Works

Couple weeks ago I posted a story about MLB and the Washington Nationals using barcodes for mobile ticketing.

New A's Ballpark has a detailed summary of his experience using the mobile ticketing service from Tickets@Phone.

The A’s are one of three major league teams to employ the new service this season. This is smart because they lead the league in last minute ticket sales.

If you know who the third team using this mobile ticketing service, let me know.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mobile Barcodes And Patent Trolls

Phone Scoop has an interesting post about patent trolls, mobile barcodes and Physical World Connection.

"a company called neomedia would constantly give me a hard time whenever i wrote about mobile barcodes (especially in Asia) because they claimed to own all the patents on this idea and swore that they did it first.

Neomedia is still around, and still making these same claims. But neomedia never made anything, they bought the intellectual property from cuecat (remember them?) and then put up a web page with examples of how their technology would work. Supposedly Neomedia finally has a working barcode reader now, but of course so does every phone manufacturer outside the US."

It's interesting to hear views and opinions on companies associated with the Physical World Connection.
This view seems to be more the standard than the exception.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Fergie Uses Barcodes For Mobile Ticketing

This is a great mobile marketing idea that will build a database for future advertising. If Verizon and Fergie get permission from the consumer, they will have created a database for future advertising (albums, apparel, concerts etc).

Verizon and Shakira offered mobile barcodes before too.
Who "owns" the database of these people?

Will Fergie or her record company have to pay Verizon to use this database for future promos?

From Reuters Fergie fans will phone it in for tickets

Verizon Wireless is sponsoring the Black Eyed Peas vocalist's 20-city U.S. solo tour -- which kicked off May 8 in Seattle -- and in an unprecedented move is controlling the entire ticket distribution process.

By doing so, Verizon is conducting what is perhaps the biggest mobile ticketing experiment in the United States to date.

Verizon Wireless subscribers can get a ticket to Fergie's show via any of the following mobile tie-ins: by downloading any of Fergie's songs from the V Cast Music full-song download service or any of the new Fergie TV content on V Cast; by buying any Verizon-enabled Motorola phone; or by attending any of several planned in-store events at either Verizon Wireless or Kohl's stores.

Verizon will then send each fan a unique barcode that will be scanned by a special reader at each venue for entry.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Firefox Mobile Barcode Provides Physical World Hyperlinks Online

Firefox provides a mobile "Do"-main.

How long before Google, Yahoo, Verisign (websites) and any advertiser introduce an application that generates a 2D code for any URL?

Consumer packaging will soon have 2d codes that can be scanned by mobile phones. A 2d code (Physical World Hyperlink) standard is being created.

Will there be a big desire for a proprietary code reading application? Where will big advertisers/brands focus their efforts?

360 Mobile finds the Firefox extension that will display a mobile code for the URL of the current site, called Mobile Barcoder

This extension generates 2D barcodes (called QR Codes) of the URL of the current page being viewed. You can then use a mobile phone to read the URL from the screen to save you typing the long URL using the phone keypad.

Once you move the mouse over the text “Barcode” the mobile code for the current URL pops up as shown here.

I think this shows how easy it is to create a 2d (physical world hyperlink PWH) and that it is just a commodity. Value from Physical World Connection will come when any mobile device can scan the hyperlink and be connected to relevant and timely information (database).

Various high traffic websites will offer 2d code producing capability as easy as Firefox does, and DuPont will be printing 2d codes on consumer packaging.

Both the physical world and electronic world are now generating physical world hyperlinks.

Bill Gates And Mark Cuban Provide Vision

I always enjoy when visionaries give their thoughts on where technology is headed. Their vision of the future provides a better view of tomorrow's winners and losers.

As both point out, the current infrastructure of the Net will not be able to handle the upcoming applications in store.

Some interesting comments from Bill Gates on advertising and bandwidth at the Microsoft Strategic Acount Summit.

From Seattle PI Bill Gates: Reading to go online

(On printed vs the screen) The ads in the online reading are completely targeted as opposed to just being run-of-print, where many of the readers will find them completely irrelevant.

(On TV) this idea of changing TV from being a simply broadcast medium to being a targeted medium.

In order to have this be targeted, you cannot send it over the airwaves.

There's just not enough capacity to broadcast thousands and thousands of different video feeds.

And that's where the Internet comes in. The Internet is now cheap enough that the idea of having every household in America watching a different video feed has become practical.

the ads will be targeted, not just targeted to the neighborhood level, but targeted to the viewer.

We'll actually not just know the household that that viewing is taking place in, we'll actually know who the viewers of that show are, and so it's a very rich environment.


Mark Cuban, founder of HDNet had this to say at a hearing of the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet.

"no longer the case at all technology improves with age"

"the internet is not prepared to take on what digital video is calling for"

Now that the consumer Internet has matured, Cuban argues that it needs significant investment in last-mile infrastructure, specifically fiber.

While the Internet's fiber backbone is in no danger of running out of capacity, last-mile bottlenecks (especially through twisted-pair wiring) make the system "pretty weak" for transmitting video.

Even peer-to-peer networks, sometimes pitched as a solution to the problem, simply spread distribution from the center of the network, where bandwidth is available, to the edges, where bandwidth is constrained.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Physical World Connection Used In Fight Against Terror

Makes sense why Google bought NevenVision

From USA Today Face recognition next in terror fight

Homeland Security leaders are exploring futuristic and possibly privacy-invading technology aimed at finding terrorists and criminals by using digital surveillance photos that analyze facial characteristics.

The government is paying for some of the most advanced research into controversial face-recognition technology, which converts photos into numerical sequences that can be instantly compared with millions of photos in a database.

Scanning a photo/image (machine readable identifier) that has been linked to an online database, is physical world connection.

The ability to establish quick identities will "turbocharge video surveillance," ACLU privacy expert Jay Stanley warns. "It turns 'dumb' camera lenses into 'smart' observers that not only capture images but attach an identity to the image. That could increase the attractiveness of surveillance cameras."

CeBIT Australia Uses bCODE For Mobile Ticketing

bCODE™ is the future of Mobile Coupon, Ticketing, Loyalty and Payments

CeBIT Australia 2007, the Australian leg of the world's largest ICT exhibition, rolled out a new mobile ticketing technology for general admission that saw its admission queues for pre-registered patrons completely eliminated at this year's

This ticketing option was offered to all pre-registered patrons of the event. If a user chose the bCODE mobile ticketing option, he or she was sent the mobile ticket immediately prior to the event. Upon arrival, the patron simply scanned his or her phone on one of the 10 bCODE Readers to gain admission and receive their personalized conference tag.

CeBIT chose Australian company bCODE , now based in Los Angeles, as their mobile ticketing technology provider.

Unlike 1D/2D barcode and RFID-based mobile ticketing technologies that require a phone specific chipset or graphics, the bCODE's internationally patented solution is based on standard SMS text messaging and is supported by 99%+ of all mobile phones in the market including, PDAs, RIM Blackberry, Palm Treo and other devices like the Apple iPOD.

bCODE won the Ericsson Best Mobile Application Award in 2006. bCODE has recently relocated to the United States and has offices in Los Angeles and Sydney.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

North America Wireless Needs Physical World Connection

Russell Shaw discusses the latest Forrester Research report entitled "How Japanes Companies Guide Their Customers to Mobile Internet Experience"

From ZDNet North American wireless needs this Japanese innovation

The authors refer to these services as "Using bar codes to link users to contextual support," and "Using wireless tags to push content directly from the urban environment."

The "bar code" solution is best for cell.

"Most camera phones in Japan include software that scans two-dimensional bar codes, known as QR (quick response) codes, which can contain data such as a Web site URL," the authors write. "Tokyo's metropolitan transportation bureau posts unique codes at hundreds of bus stops around the city that link commuters to journey planning tools, timetables, bus locations, and estimated wait times for each specific location."

As shown in the image at the top of this post, your cellphone's built-in bar code reader would scan the bar code at a specific transit stop. The scan would direct your cellphone's wireless broadband Web browser to a landing page where further, and quite specific info about the route that stops where you are would be available.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

2D Barcode Isn't Secure For Proposed REAL ID

Authentication will be complete when both the barcode (physical world hyperlink), and database for it, are secure.

Hitachi was demonstrating their solution for this at the RFID Show in Orlando last week.

Smart Card Alliance says 2d barcode isn't secure

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) should not rely on static 2D barcode technology to store citizens' personal information on REAL ID driver's licenses or identification cards due to its inherent security drawbacks, according to the Smart Card Alliance's comments in response to the DHS Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on minimum standards for REAL ID cards.

According to the Alliance, the static nature of 2D barcode allows printed media to be copied and disassociated from the original ID and its bearer, enabling misuse of the information. By contrast, a smart card's microcontroller chip cannot be altered or tampered with, and it incorporates numerous cryptographic features that enable reliable, strong authentication.

The response statement also notes that the proposed barcode technology cannot secure the information stored in the REAL ID document's machine-readable zone. Thus, required personal information -- including address, date of birth, eye color, height and gender -- could be vulnerable to access by unauthorized users.

Post Office Offers Physical World Connection

From Post Office goes high-tech

Postal orders have gone hi-tech - you're now able to collect money paid out using a barcode sent to your mobile phone or email address.

The Post Office has launched a new service which allows you to receive money transfers electronically via a barcode. The barcode is scanned in a Post Office branch and you receive the cash payout over the counter.

The Payout service can be used at any of the 14,000 Post Office branches nationwide. It's essentially a modern version of the postal order. It allows companies and government agencies to send cash payments and promotional incentives immediately to users.

Using the latest barcode technology, companies simply send a reference code by text, email or post which customers take to any of the UK’s 14,000 Post Office™ branches to receive an instant cash payment.

Instead of getting a cheque in the post, you'll receive a barcode, either on paper or electronically via your mobile phone or email. The barcode can then be scanned at a Post Office counter and the cash handed over. For high-value payouts, you'll have to go through additional security checks and provide your signature.

The Post Office itself has already used the service as a means to send £50 cashback payments to its car insurance customers. Both British Gas and Unilever have trialled the service to send payments to customers.

Monday, May 07, 2007

V-Code Offers Video 2D Barcode

MobileAMA , an Applied Media Analysis company, has a next generation Mobile Barcode Reader software for mobile devices. MobileAMA’s new software allows the camera phone to scan 1D and 2D barcodes with functionality and at speeds that approximate a laser scanner.

Mobile Barcode Reader makes it possible to scan 1D and 2D barcodes much like a laser scanner in that the user simply waves the device over the barcode and it beeps. This breakthrough technology reads a barcode twenty times faster than other camera phone software solutions.

Recently they announced the launch of their free V-Code trial software!

This patent-pending technology allows users to download V-Code demonstrations ranging from background images to mobile games.

Their V-Code technology allows users to download more content fast with video 2D barcode. V-Code is currently available for several mobile devices, including many Windows Mobile and Nokia Series 60, Second Edition devices. For a complete list of supported devices, please click here .

V-Code demonstrative video .

Friday, May 04, 2007

Microsoft Buys Yahoo?.. 2007 Pondering Primate Prediction Possible?

Scott Shaffer

From Washington Post Microsoft Eyes Yahoo

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp. has stepped up its pursuit of a deal to buy Yahoo Inc., two newspapers reported on Friday, as the two companies reenter talks to strike a deal amid huge growth from rival Google Inc.

2007 Primate Predictions

10. Microsoft buys Yahoo

In an effort to take on Google, Microsoft buys Yahoo.

Doesn't seem that far fetched now.

What are the other predictions for 2007?

Optibrand Uses Physical World Connection For Food Traceability

It is now possible to use your cell phone to scan a bar code on a package of meat and thereby access all the background information that led up to that product arriving
in your home. As food traceability becomes more important to consumers,
information delivery becomes critical to market success.

Optibrand has partnered with Swift & Company, the U.S.'s third-largest processor of fresh beef and pork, to provide a traceability program that meets the rigorous demands of the Japanese market.

For the first time, Japanese distributors and retailers will be able to offer U.S. beef with complete traceability information available via a barcode on the package.
Consumers can retrieve the product's supply chain history, from farm to retail shelf, by scanning the barcode with a cell phone or accessing the information online.

Founded in 1998, Optibrand is based in Fort Collins, Colorado and is the originator of the world's only retinal imaging system for livestock identification. With Optibrand technology, producers can use any identifier including retinal patterns, RFID tags, bar-coded tags.

Can you see why the DuPont barcode announcement plays a key role for Physical World Connection PWC starting with the supply chain?

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Microsoft Buys Mobile Marketing Company

From Washington Post Microsoft Buys ScreenTonic

Microsoft said on Thursday it agreed to acquire European mobile phone advertising company ScreenTonic to gain a foothold in the rapidly growing business for placing ads on mobile phones.

Microsoft, the world's largest software maker, did not disclose the financial terms of the deal. Paris-based ScreenTonic is one of the first companies in Europe to develop a platform to manage and place ads on the mobile Internet.

ScreenTonic also serves as an advertising agency for companies looking to develop marketing campaigns on phones. Investors in the start-up include venture capital firm 3i (III.L) and I-Source Gestion, according to ScreenTonic's Web site.

Their STAMP™ platform manages all the specifics of mobile phones and can target the delivery of the ad in keeping with the technical criteria, such as handset capabilities (particularly audio capacities, video, screen size and Java), the portal formats (WAP, XHTML, video, Java, rich media) and the information sent by the portals (bearer, user information and geolocation). It also incorporates the user targeting constraints: capping (controlling the repetition of ads seen per contact) and user scenarios.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Patent System Undergoes Reform

An article in the Wall Street Journal will have interesting ramifications for intellectual property holders and innovation. What impact will this have on the New American Business Model?

Just last week the Electronic Frontier Foundation requested a reexamination of a "bogus patent" by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO)

May 1, 2007; Page A3

WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court made it harder to get new patents and to defend existing ones, giving new force to the law that denies patents to inventions deemed "obvious."

In a unanimous decision, the justices yesterday sided with critics who argue that lower-court rulings have given patent holders more power than Congress intended, potentially stifling innovation.

The ruling, the latest to roll back patent holders' clout, comes amid a sharp debate over how to maintain the nation's competitive edge while protecting those who labor to design cutting-edge inventions. Many of the developments that drive the economy are governed by patent law, an arcane field that has become a battleground in the larger debate about U.S. industrial strength.

The opinion could have especially big implications for technology companies, whose software programs typically are built through small improvements in prior designs. Also affected will be the growing and much-disputed field of "business method" patents, which are granted for abstract processes rather than specific devices.

Investors that buy up patents with the aim of obtaining royalties from alleged infringers -- known as patent trolls -- are sure to find slimmer pickings.

"What they're starting to put together here is a model for a 21st-century patent system," said David Kappos, who oversees intellectual-property law at International Business Machines Corp., Armonk, N.Y. "Closed proprietary innovation remains important," he said, but the court seems to be saying that patent law "can also accommodate 21st-century models that are more open, more collaborative."

I wonder how this affects Nathan Myhrvold (Intellectual Ventures), Ross Perot, Bill Gates , OceanTomo

Scanbuy Launches First Interactive 2D Barcode Platform For Buses And Subways

From Digital 5.0 Scanbuy and RATP Launch 2D Barcode for Buses and Subways

Scanbuy, Inc., a global provider of wireless commerce solutions, announced today the launch of a pilot program with Regie Autonome Transports Parisiens (known as RATP, the major transit operator in Paris and its environs) and faberNovel, an innovation consulting firm, to create an interactive transit station to allow commuters and travelers easy access to information using their cell phones and handheld devices. Outside of Japan, the program is the first operation of its kind in the world.

RATP is installing Scanbuy's interactive 2D (two dimensional) barcode technology throughout Noisy le Grand, to provide commuters access to a wide array of information including subway and bus schedules, traffic information, area maps and general RATP information from the RATP WAP.

"RATP is responsible for most public transportations in and around Paris and our mission is focused on creating an easier and better travel experience to consumers, in particular in delivering personalized real-time information" said Thierry Anselot of RATP. "We've chosen to work with Scanbuy because their barcode-capture technology and services platforms are the most advanced in the market and offer proactive delivery of real-time information and communication to mobile consumers"