Friday, February 29, 2008

Bar Codes, Not Just For Groceries Anymore

I published the Case Western Bar Code story before, but this article gives more details.

A group of Masters of Engineering Management (MEM) students is working to implement a 2D bar code system on campus this semester. This trial is the first of its kind in the nation

These bar codes can be read by almost any phone with a camera and the ability to access the Internet using a program called ScanLife. ScanLife turns the average cell phone into a bar code reader.

Here's the really valuable part. Imagine the value (for consumers and advertisers) of knowing all of the codes you clicked on and storing on a "MyCode" or "MyScan" portal? Opportunities are huge for this.

Students using the ScanLife program need to sign up for the service at using a valid Case e-mail address. The MobileDiscovery website keeps track of scan history for the user's phone as well as the most popular scans overall.

Alltel, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon are all participating in this trial, and phones from some other services can be used as well.

Here's what I would do if I was Scanlife. (owned by ScanBuy)

Each user that downloads the application gets their own "MyScan" site.

Everytime I scan a mobile bar code, the action is registered and linked to this site. When I am at home on my PC I can check out what I scanned for more detailed information about that product/code.

Nobody will read any lengthy document, or video on their cellphone. Scanning a mobile code is spontaneous, advertisers can continue the relationship with the scanner on their PC. Brand X knows when and where you scanned their mobile code. Pay-per-scan information trumps pay-per-click don't you think?

Can you see why Google should be looking at ScanBuy?

scanlife case western

Should Yahoo Be Looking At SnapTell For Mobile Marketing Solution?

SnapTell, a Physical World Connection player, allows brands to turn their DVD covers, logos or any other image into an interactive mobile marketing advertisement.SnapTell

SnapTell, an image recognition based mobile marketing company, turns any billboard, magazine ad or product packaging into a Physical World Hyperlink. Consumers get valuable information with a snap of their camera phones and marketers get to create a targeted brand conversation in the process.

It's easy. Take a picture of a DVD cover (or any other image in their database) and send to

SnapTell's solution today can hold up to 1 million images in the database for recognition. Soon they expect to be able to handle 10 million or more images.

Keep in mind Google acquired image recognition based company NevenVision recently. Microsoft launched their image recognition application called Lincoln.

I am thinking that if Flickr (owned by Yahoo) wanted to become a player in the image recognition space, SnapTell would be a great fit.

Upload the Flickr image database and offer the SnapTell image recognition solution. Does it make Yahoo a mobile marketing player overnight?

Led by CEO Gautam Bhargava, (his last two ventures were acquired by Cisco and Oracle), is turning an everyday camera phone and SnapTell's innovative image recognition technology, into a powerful mobile marketing solution.

Try the SnapTell demo

Until every camera phone can read bar codes and 2d codes are placed on packaging, sometimes the easiest solution is the best.

Friday, February 22, 2008

$10 Revolutionary Wireless Chip..Bye Bye WiFi, Hello GiFi

The "GiFi" was unveiled today at the Melbourne University-based laboratories of NICTA, the national information and communications technology research centre.

The tiny five-millimeter-a-side chip can transmit data through a wireless connection at a breakthrough five gigabits per second over distances of up to 10 meters. An entire high-definition movie from a video shop kiosk could be transmitted to a mobile phone in a few seconds, and the phone could then upload the movie to a home computer or screen at the same speed.

It uses the 60GHz "millimetre wave" spectrum to transmit the data, which gives it an advantage over WiFi (wireless internet).

WiFi's part of the spectrum is increasingly crowded, sharing the waves with devices such as cordless phones, which leads to interference and slower speeds.

The new chip is potentially hundreds of times faster than the average home WiFi unit. However, WiFi still benefits from being able to provide wireless coverage over a greater distance

Skuair...The Ideal Mobile Barcode Solution?

This seems like a no brainer for the mobile marketing industry.
Add Skuair to the list of mobile bar code players.

Turn any image into a 2d bar code.

Wouldn't that be the best of all worlds for brands, mobile marketers and consumers? Wouldn't this be the ideal solution for Physical World Connection?

Now brands can turn their logos into scannable mobile bar codes. Consumers can turn images into physical world hyperlinks. When an image is scanned, the mobile phone directs the user to a specific website.

Revenue opportunities for this application are enormous.

Daem Interactive is proud to announce Skuair, a second-generation 2d code.

It's a next generation 2d Code which can contain any logo or image.

It can contain any logo or personalized image. Unlike 2Dcodes, individual tags are easy to remember because they are images, not secretive machine only readable bar-codes.

Skuair is a client-server solution that merges the best qualities of 2d barcodes and image recognition technologies. Research in the fields of augmented reality and low-res image recognition combine in a fast, scalable and easy to use solution.

User generated image tags will be launched later this year.

Skuair has been developed by Daem Interactive

The big question.....can they turn a 1d bar code image into a 2d code? If so, they turn the mobile marketing and search engine world upside down.

Thoughts, comments?

Friday, February 15, 2008

Mobile Bar Codes The Nielsen Ratings For Mobile Marketing?

What if a brand could determine who, what, when and where a coupon was used?

How powerful would that be?
scott p shaffer

I met with a well-known Florida business executive today. He just sold his business to a major corporation and is looking to tap into the mobile marketing industry. The discussion turned to text messaging and it's potential. Because he works with the largest national brands, he bounced some ideas off of me on how to get traction with the mobile phone.

He is being courted by one of the top mobile marketing companies and asked for my opinion.

There are lots of great opportunities with text messaging and how a brand can interact with a consumer, but what does the brand ultimately want?....a sale from the ad.

What ties a text message to a direct sale? And how can you measure that?

Text messaging is a great method to interact with consumer (after permission is granted), but how do you get them into the retail store to buy?

For more info send a text to ###### with keyword ******* to receive $1 off on widget XYZ. What comes next?

How does a brand determine how effective this SMS ad was?

What is the metric brands will use to determine how effective a mobile marketing campaign is?

The mobile barcode offers the perfect metric for mobile marketing because it ties a specific ad to a specific phone, time and location. When a consumer receives a mobile barocde after a text is sent, the brand will know who, what, when and where the code was scanned.

Imagine the power if brands could identify the home address, or phone number, of every regular coupon that is scanned today. That power is coming soon to mobile marketing with mobile barcodes.

I envision mobile marketing companies incorporating Physical World Connection (mobile bar codes) soon to add value to their campaigns AND to determine how effective they are too.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Mars And FaceBook Team Up For Mobile Coupons

Mobile marketing companies and physical world connection players have been trying to tap into the huge audience at FaceBook.

Can you envision how quickly FaceBook generates revenues and builds a database for mobile marketing campaigns with this?

Packaged goods giant Mars will become the first advertiser to sell actual products on Facebook, a move aimed at building the commercial credentials of the social network.

Called Celebrate, the service will launch on Valentine's Day and enable users to buy actual Mars gifts which can be redeemed at participating stores through the use of a scanable, unique mobile voucher ID.

A user on the Celebrate application will be able to select, for example, a virtual box of Maltesers and send it to a friend on Facebook. When this message is opened, the user will be asked to enter his or her mobile number and an SMS barcode will be sent. That user can then go into a participating store, pick up a box of Maltesers, have the mobile code scanned and then leave with the goods.

How long before other brands realize this is a fantastic viral marketing idea AND they can build a database for future mobile marketing campaigns?

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Google Mobile Bar Codes..The Catalyst For Mobile Advertising Domination?

Last week Silicon Alley Insider had a report on Google's Hope For Small Bar Codes. I don't think most people realize how big of an opportunity this really is for advertisers, brands and Google.
google bar code
First of all, it's foolish to think Google and advertisers won't find a way to increase traffic to a website(more revenue opportunities). It's also clear mobile advertising is the next great land rush.

Because the advertiser can change the URL, mobile bar codes can turn a static ad, into a dynamic ones. The ad owner can change the URL to also make a static ad (newspaper, magazine, billboard) into a dynamic advertising situtation.. click on a bar code in a magazine ad and get the latest info.

Google, just as they have done with their Blogger application, allow millions of people to create content for their database. Wouldn't it make sense for Google to introduce an application that allows advertisers, consumers, brands and website owners to create their own 2d mobile bar code?

More links to content means more advertising dollars.

The physical world hyperlink transformation is coming and to think advertisers, Google, handset manuf won't try to utilize the camera on the mobile phone as a mouse, is naive. Hyperlinks are embedded into websites to make it easier to get to a website. The mouse clicks to connect, typing is not even an option in most cases.

The camera will become your physical world "mouse".

Microsoft has found a way to use voice as the "mouse in the car" with their Sync technology. Say a key phrase and the computer in the car acts as the mouse.

Who knows maybe mobile bar codes could save the newspaper industry.

As newspapers are trying to find ways to increase revenues and subscribers, they will now have a tool that makes their static ads and stories dynamic.

This also allows the print industry to "merge" with the online world.

How much easier will it be to click on a bar code, than to type ""? And if the newspaper guys are smart they make you register so they can then display relevant ads to your mobile phone.

The millions of bar codes on newspapers or magazines become millions of hyperlinks to a websites. It's a win-win for everyone.

It's just a question of when Google dominates this space too.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Microsoft Buys Yahoo..A Pondering Primate 2007 Prediction

scott p. shaffer
So I was off by a month for this prediction. Is it too little too late?

After reading Nicholas Carr's Big Switch, I wonder if Microsoft buying Yahoo is too little, too late. As more of the computing world goes and performs online, the PC becomes irrelevant.

Microsoft To Buy Yahoo For $44.6B

Microsoft buying Yahoo was one of my 2007 Predictions.

10. Microsoft buys Yahoo

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

For $44B, what should Microsoft have bought instead?

The better question though is....what does Google buy to up the ante?

Could The Days Of Cheap Goods From China Be Ending?

China's Inflation Hits American Price Tags

How will this affect the US economy? Is China losing its cheap labor?
Could another country with cheap labor rise?

Soaring energy and raw material costs, a falling dollar and new business rules here are forcing Chinese factories to increase the prices of their exports, according to analysts and Western companies doing business here.

“China has been the world’s factory and the anchor of the global disconnect between rising material prices and lower consumer prices,” said Dong Tao, an economist for Credit Suisse. “But its heyday is over. We’re going to see higher prices.”

Many Chinese factory owners say a tough new labor law, which went into effect on Jan. 1, complicates the hiring and firing process and threatens to raise labor costs even more.