Friday, February 16, 2007

Consumer Automation Made Easy At Smart Communications

Decode is a tool that simplifies the act of entering complex codes on a mobile phone. The system allows cameraphones to scan specially printed codes, called mobile codes or mcodes. These codes can represent web URLs, phone numbers or instructions that include keywords and an access number. All you need to do is scan and send! No more typing. Caption & Image Credit: Smart Communications

Last week, the Smart Communications mobile phone carrying person in the Philippines just became automated through the announcement of “Decode”.

With the download of Decode software, a camera cellphone user on the Smart Communications network will be able to turn their phone into an Auto ID/Physical World Connection powerhouse.

Highlight from advertisement for Smart Decode. Image Credit: Advertising Image – Smart Communications

Based on the simplified 2D format mCode symbology, the average consumer on the Smart Communications network with Decode on their phone will be able to access information, look at their phone account, share contact information, and connect via code to a whole new world of automated services.

Excerpts from a weblog description at CHETTE.COM -

Smart Decode -- Not quite ready, but seems alright
Written by chette (blog) - Sunday, 11 February 2007

Smart Communications launched Smart Decode yesterday. Although it's probably going to be used for a bunch useless promotions (Ringbacks? Seriously?), I just realized that this is actually The Solution to all the senseless typing of VAS ("value added services") commands.

Let me give you an idea:

"Type DUMMYKEYWORD space REGISTER space your FIRST NAME space YOUR LAST NAME space asterisk space YOUR ADDRESS space asterisk YOUR LANDLINE space asterisk, and send this to 999."

Sounds familiar, no?

Of course it does. This is the language that we Earthlings have learned from Pluto. Coincidentally, this is the same language that content partners decided to use in order to confuse, er, help users in using their SMS-based mobile services.

Need to download a wallpaper?

Type DUMMYWALLPAPER space PHONE MODEL space WALLPAPER NAME, shake it to the left, jump ten times, and send to 999.

With Smart Decode, this insanity will pretty much be eradicated. The content partner will simply generate a code (which can be printed in their posters, fliers, and print ads).

When you, The User, see this code, all you have to do is take its picture using your phone's camera. Almost instantaneously you will be presented with a nice interface where you can fill in forms, download your operator logo, etc. -- all in human readable form.

The code is called an mcode ("mobile code"). It’s a 2D barcode which stores information in a bunch of dots.

Examples - PWC/PWH "mCode" access codes from Decode. Image Credit: Advertising Image – Smart Communications

But ooh-la-la, mcode is not just for those boring content partners who can't seem to make a decent mobile application. We regular users, The Much Cooler Ones, can have a little fun of our own:

Contact information.

Definitely a lot more hip than sending a vcard thru bluetooth. Make your friends take a picture of your mcode (which you conveniently printed out & kept in your wallet). Voila! Your contact info will automatically be saved in their address books.

SMS message.

You can have an mcode to generate a specific SMS message. You can also have it sent to a predefined number.

URLs. Your mcode can contain the URL of your website.

When your friends scan it, they will be shown a link (which they can click to launch your website in their phone's browser).

Phone numbers.

You can scan an mcode to automatically dial a specified phone number.
In order to scan an mcode, you need to download & install Smart Decode (don't worry, you won't get charged for the download). Using your phone's browser, go to Click on the link on the website to install the software automatically (no need to mess around with those jar and sis files).

Take note that you need to use your Smart cellphone to download Decode. You cannot download the application using a Globe or Sun SIM, or even your good ol' DSL connection.

Some observations on Smart's credit (give two points for Smart over here!):

The application loads real fast even on a crappy Nokia 6600. It takes an average of 2 seconds for the software to "decode" the mcode. You can actually scan the mcode even if its tilted (it will just take a little longer to scan it).

There's something missing in the equation, though (gimme back those points, dear): The ability for users to create their own codes.

C'mon, Smart, share the love. Help us look cool with those mcodes in our pockets.

Reference Here>>

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