Tuesday, June 05, 2007

barcodes & cell phones

I've been more than a little skeptical about cell phones being used to scan barcodes. I just don't see the usefullness of it beyond the gee-whiz geek factor. Besides, if it was such a great idea the market would have matured to the point where there'd be one or two dominent players by now.

Well, I'm rethinking it all. For one, I don't think that there's any one implementation. In fact, it may evolve into something as varied as the different ways people use the camera in their cell phone. And most of those uses are different than what folks do with their stand-alone cameras. So assumption #1 is that cell phones as barcode scanners won't be one-for-one equivalents to barcode scanners as barcode scanners.

Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, I think that cell phones as barcode scanners will be different in Japan than in Europe. And the US will be different than either. No duh; this mimics the cutural differences between cell phone useage in each country.

Lastly, I'm starting to hear uses that even I might embrace. Like scanning a barcode at a subway stop or landmark and getting a map pushed to me. Not an ad but a tidbit of localized information.

Like I said, I'm rethinking the whole thing. Film at 11...

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