I came across a relatively unknown company today, called CamClick.Â They focus on connecting online content to physical products using the the product barcodes that are already in place.
They offer both a content-management system/CRM as well as a java mobile application to read the barcodes with camera phones.Â A company can input their barcode product data that they already have into the content management system, and make every product interactive.Â They can then make the barcode reader available to their customers and provide a new content channel, and more importantly a new marketing channel.Â CamClick states that their CMS/CRM platform is…
…the easiest and fastest way to get started with mobile market communication towards customers and users of your products. The solution is based on standardized technology and does not require any investments or risks to use. It is probably the most economic and effective way to identify your customers and communicate with them. Use your standard product packages as a global interface for mobile users to interact with.
The barcode reader is Java ME-based, and can handle “noisy, rotated codes with approximately .01 inch module widths.”Â It’s supposed to be able to decode all major 1D and 2D barcodes, currently manifested by EAN13, Code128 and QR Code via the camera installed on any cell phone.Â There’s an online demo video of the application in action, and it uses a Sony Ericsson K550i with an auto-focus camera.Â This undoubtedly makes for quicker decoding and content retrieval over a camera that can be blurred and shaky.Â As camera-phone technology increases, auto-focus will be a standard feature, and it will no longer be a barrier.
In an interesting article from the Pondering Primate, they discuss the mobile marketing benefits of such a physical world connection.Â The makers of the products can “turn-on” the barcodes of the products so to speak, and when consumers scan and decode a barcode, they can be presented with anything from coupons, to health information, to cross-promotional items, etc.Â Consumers can in turn, form social-networks around the products, and let brands determine the appropriate advertising.Â Scott from the Pondering Primate also points out an interesting example of this in action;
Music star Fergie is using barcodes for mobile ticketing.Â CamClic could “turn on” the 1D barcodes of all of her CDs, and when a CD barcode is scanned, her music label can direct a scanner to an appropriate site/info. In addition, Fergie fans could also click on any barcode to be connected to the “Fergie Fan Club”.Â How valuable is this data?
The CMS/CRM platform as well as the Java barcode reader are available free of charge, and the company is currently seeking venture capital to increase their offerings and make it available to the masses.