You know how absolutely natural it feels to “Google” something? Well, can you remember how in the not so distant past we didn’t even know what Google was, much less use it as a verb? Frankly, I cannot imagine everyday life without this powerful tool.
I predict that in the not so distant future we will feel the same way about mobile barcodes and other image recognition tools like SnapTell and SpyderLynk. We will take for granted that pretty much every advertisement has a mobile-powered, interactive tool embedded into it.
No longer will we have to remember to visit a website when we are next sitting at our computer. We will be able to do it immediately using our mobile phone – from anywhere, at anytime. The lag time between seeing an ad and being able to buy what is advertised decreases to zero. One quick photo of a “buy now” icon on a print ad can link directly to a mobile commerce site and direct response becomes instant.
With SpyderLink’s ability to encode any image (think logos) with this interaction, we will start to understand that virtually everything we see is ready and waiting to give us more. Any logo anywhere can be made snap-able and interactive.
Want to know if there are any special offers from a particular brand? Take a picture of it, send it in and see what comes back.
Ready to be entertained? Take a picture of strategically placed game company logos and be directed to an online mobile game.
Need the bus schedule from where you? Take a picture of the bus sign at the stop where you are and get the estimated time of arrival of the next bus.
The possibilities are endless. Anything that is graphic can be photographed and interacted with. The only barrier to this all becoming reality is that the majority of consumers have no clue this is possible. Especially in the North American market where we are still learning mobile marketing even exists.
Consumer education about how to use mobile image recognition tools is critical to these exciting tools becoming part of everyday life.
I also want to point out kooaba, another image recognition company. They are based in Switzerland and their solution allows the image to be sent via email, MMS or through the kooaba client.