Friday, April 27, 2007

MasterCard PayPass Card Evolves Into Phone

Nokia phone enabled with MasterCard PayPass - Image Credit: TechShout

MasterCard PayPass Card Evolves Into Phone

The evolution of “Speed Passing” RFID technology is making its way on many fronts.

Many sports franchise venues are beginning to place systems at their PoS cashpoints that accept MasterCard’s RFID enabled PayPass Card.

In an article found in the latest edition of “Contactless News” –

MasterCard Worldwide announced that three arenas, home to three National Hockey League (NHL), two National Basketball Association (NBA) teams and an array of special events are accepting MasterCard PayPass, a contactless payment option. Now fans can pay for concessions using MasterCard PayPass, which delivers speed and convenience at the register when making purchases.
Fans will now be able to catch more of their team’s action during the season’s home stretch and crucial playoff run. Consumers purchasing concessions need only tap their PayPass-enabled card or device on specially-equipped terminals. In addition, no signature or PIN is required to complete the transaction for purchases under $25. Sports fans in Chicago who also attend baseball or football games will already be familiar with the technology, as it was deployed at Soldier Field, U.S. Cellular Field and Wrigley Field prior to the 2006 seasons (in addition to thousands of other merchants throughout the U.S.).
Read All>>

Also, Nokia wants to turn the phone you carry into a "Speed Pass" machine. With this announcement, a fan may not even have to carry a credit card anymore. Nokia and MasterCard PayPass have been negotiating with many of the major mobile telecom service providers to transform how people can pay for goods and services.

When this plan is implemented, Fans and other consumers will not have to carry a card anymore --- just wave a RFID MasterCard PayPass chip enabled phone over the reader at the PoS cashpoint, and off you go.

Excerpts from Reuters via Tech Shout -

Image Credit: TechShout

Nokia, Mobile Telecom Carriers Team Up on Mobile Wallet Plan
TechShout - Friday, April 27th, 2007

Nokia and several mobile telecom carriers have all teamed-up for a global initiative that will transform mobile phones into wallets, a wireless telecoms interest group announced on Wednesday.

Through this novel plan, consumers will be able to use a phone as a wallet or as an access card simply by waving it over a wireless reader - and in some cases punching a PIN number into the phone - similar to how travelers in Tokyo and London access public transport.

Kai Oistamo, head of Nokia’s main cell phones unit, told Reuters, “The phone becomes a wallet, after that you can pay with it just like you pay with your bank cards.”
Nokia, along with two other leading cell phone makers Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics, will set in a wireless chip into its phones.

This project also has MasterCard – the world’s biggest payment card company, which is cheaper and much faster than other wireless payment experiments, like those using SMS text messages.
Trials with the new standard will begin in October. the Reuters report further said.
Jointly with chip makers NXP and Sony, which kicked off the contactless chip called Near Field Communication (NFC), companies plan a global standard for electronic wallets in cell phones.

In Japan, mobile phones are already widely used as electronic wallets, where over 12.6 million consumers already have their credit cards embedded in a chip in cell phones.

Mifare, developed by NXP, formerly known as Philips Semiconductors and Felica built by Sony are two of the most widely used formats used for access cards for buildings and public transport as well as cell phones which double as electronic wallets.

In a statement, Mifare and Felica said, “By combining this secure chip with an NFC chip, a universal contactless IC (integrated circuit) platform can be created for mobile phones.”
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Monday, April 23, 2007

Mobile? Browser? ... Mowser For Mobility Web Browsing

MOWSER Logo - Image Credit:

Mobile? Browser? ... Mowser For Mobility Web Browsing

The concept of Web 2.0 (the web as used by mobile devices) requires different tools and a better way to see web pages that were originally designed for use on computer displays and have them translate to be easier to understand on the small mobility displays found on smartphones and web enabled PDA's.

We have observed here at Symblogogy about the "designed from the ground up" efforts at web page display through the efforts of .mobi. Here is a web browser designed to take standard web pages and have them become mobility display compatible.

Mowser refers to this process as "Content Adaption" (additional background PDF).

A Google search on the word - Mowser - highlights that initial work on Mowser was done as a research project by Greg Bernhardt, Sean McDermott, and Bun Tan, under the supervision of Prof. Anupam Joshi.

This from CNET's Webware -

Mowser mobilizes any Web page
By Rafe Needleman – April 19, 2007, 3:25 PM PDT

If you
[r] phone has a rotten Web browser, bookmark Mowser and use it as the front-end to the Web on your mobile. Mowser transcodes any page into a Web-friendly format, stripping out large graphics and splitting a Web page up into smaller pages that a phone can handle. It's also RSS-aware: If there's an RSS feed on a page you visit, it will provide a link for it, and transcode the feed into a format your phone can easily display.

Original web page display - Image Credit:

The service has built-in bookmarks for major sites that are already mobile-friendly (which it does not transcode) and it has keywords for popular searches. For example, if you type "wi" followed by a search term, you'll get the Mowser-compacted version of the Wikipedia page for that term.

Web page display through Mowser browser - Image Credit:

My only issue with the Mowser transcoder is that, in my tests, it often displayed a site's left-hand navigation before or in the middle of content, requiring me to skip forward several pages just to see a top story.

But even so, it beats the stuffing out the built-in browser on most phones.

The site's creator,
Russell Beattie, has recorded a video tour of the service.
Reference Here>>

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Global Positioning “Goes To Ground”

How the client works: 1) Wireless device receives signals from Wi-Fi sites in range 2) Skyhook software compares these signals to its database of geographically known locations 3) Location data is used to direct safety services, provide driving directions and local information etc. Image Credit: Skyhook Wireless

Global Positioning “Goes To Ground”

In a “complex technology made simple” scenario, one does not need specialized GPS Satellites and the systems that pick up their signals in order to determine a specific location in most cities in the United States.

All one needs is a computer (or Wi-Fi PDA phone), some software that detects and factors in known Wi-Fi hot spots and … BINGO, wherever one goes, there one is here on the Oblate Spheriod.

This from Skyhook Wireless Inc. website -

At a time when the number of mobile devices is increasing into the billions, the connectivity and processing power of these devices is also increasing greatly. This is providing business with productivity gains and enabling consumers greater freedom in how they interact. Additionally, adoption of 802.11 (Wi-Fi) technology by consumers and industry has proceeded more quickly than the most aggressive predictions. Today, more than 10 million Wi-Fi access points have been deployed in both public and private networks resulting in a ubiquitous cloud of radio signals in the metropolitan areas of the United States.
Skyhook Wireless provides a software-only positioning system that leverages a nationwide database of known Wi-Fi access points to calculate the precise location of any Wi-Fi enabled device.

The demand for location-based services has been stifled by the lack of an affordable and reliable positioning system for highly populated areas of the country. The Wi-Fi Positioning System from Skyhook Wireless brings accurate positioning capabilities in real world situations to tens of millions of existing devices.


The Wi-Fi Positioning System (WPS) from Skyhook Wireless is the first outdoor positioning network to utilize Wi-Fi rather than GPS or cell tower systems to determine location. Building on the explosive growth of Wi-Fi, WPS includes a nationwide network of access points used to accurately pinpoint a user’s position.

WPS is designed for the millions of laptop, tablet PC, PDA and Smartphone owners that have Wi-Fi capabilities and would like to generate driving directions, utilize proximity systems, implement vehicle/asset tracking and communicate location information to friends and coworkers. With WPS, users can easily take advantage of location-based services that are already widely available, without having to purchase additional hardware.

WPS can also complement other location technology, because unlike traditional systems, WPS has no line of sight requirements, is accurate to within twenty meters and can be used indoors or outdoors to determine location in seconds. WPS is compatible with 802.11 devices, integrates with all GPS designed applications and covers metro areas of the United States.
Location Client

The WPS Location Client contains intelligence, which when coupled with the Location Database, calculates a precise location. The client works by scanning the airwaves for 802.11 signals then comparing observed access points against a known database of access point locations. The client features a patent-pending location algorithm that calculates real-time position, speed, and heading. The client also includes advanced filtering and database optimization techniques to continually improve the overall system. WPS can operate on any device that supports 802.11. It can be configured to operate like a virtual GPS device so that any GPS enabled application can begin to use WPS immediately. The client also includes an SDK to allow third party application developers to more tightly integrate location capabilities into their location-based service.

Location Database

The Wi-Fi Positioning System features a location database that contains the world's most comprehensive listing of geo-located Wi-Fi access points. The Location Database is continuously updated with new regions of the country and with new data from existing coverage areas. Employing patent-pending techniques, the Location Database computes the precise location of each access point using hundreds of observed readings. The Database also determines the propagation characteristics for each access point based on its unique local environment. Each access point can perform differently depending on its location within a building, the position of other buildings on a street, the physical topography of the area and a host of other environmental variables. All of these factors are taken into consideration by the WPS location algorithms. With this level of sophistication, WPS is able to produce reliable and accurate readings throughout our coverage areas.

Device Centric

With the device centric model, the database and client are both installed on an individual device. The Location Database is compressed using a patent-pending algorithm resulting in a minimal storage requirement for the device. Positioning is calculated on the device and is then communicated to other applications (e.g. mapping) via a set of API's. With this model, no network connectivity is required which is preferable for many applications. Data on the device is refreshed on a regular basis and can be segmented (e.g. by city, state, region) based on individual customer needs.

Network Centric

With the network centric model the Location Database resides on the Skyhook Wireless servers and only the thin location client resides on the Wi-Fi enabled device. This configuration is optimal for toolbars or other applications that assume a network connection. The Skyhook server can communicate the location back to the client over the network or to another server based application such as a fleet monitoring system.

Coverage map by Google - Link
System Requirements
· Skype version 1.2 and above
· Windows XP
· 802.11 adapter
· Call from Skyhook
Coverage area
Installation Instructions
· Download Skype E911 Plug-in
· Extract to a temporary directory
· Run setup.exe (make sure your Wi-Fi adapter is enabled during installation)
· The installation will also install the Skype COM API. Be sure to follow all the instructions
· The last screen will ask you to start the plug-in

How to Operate

By default the Skype E911 plug-in will be configured to start whenever Windows starts. You should see the target icon in the taskbar. When you place a call using Skype, the E911 plug-in will initiate once the receiver of the call has picked up the call. You will see a message from the taskbar letting you know that your current location has been calculated and sent to the other party. The other party on the call will receive a chat message (below) that includes the nearest street address to your current location plus a link to Google Maps to see your current location plotted on a map. The same process will occur when you receive a call as well.

Image Credit: Skyhook Wireless

Reference Here>>

At Symblogogy, we ask if Wi-Fi signals are good, why not other fixed position broadcast signals?

This excerpt from a press release issued by Boeing Engineering, Operations & Technology –

Boeing-Led Team Developing Surface Navigation Concept for DARPA
Boeing Press Release - ST. LOUIS, April 18, 2007

How would U.S. ground troops navigate precisely and effectively if signals from the Global Positioning System (GPS) were not available? Boeing [NYSE: BA] and an industry team are getting the chance to tackle that problem under a concept development contract awarded recently by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

The objective of the Robust Surface Navigation (RSN) program is to develop technologies that can exploit various "signals of opportunity" -- electronic waves emanating from satellites, cell phone towers and even television transmission towers -- to provide precise location and navigation information to ground troops when GPS signals are being electronically jammed or blocked by natural or man-made obstacles, such as foliage or buildings.

"The challenge is to develop an integrated system that can use all available signals -- not just GPS -- to provide accurate navigation information through one small receiver, thereby eliminating the need for an expensive, fixed infrastructure," said Bart Ferrell, Boeing Phantom Works program manager for Precision Navigation Programs.

The Boeing-led Robust Surface Navigation team is beginning its 15-month Phase 1 concept development contract.
Read All>>


Thursday, April 19, 2007

It's Springtime For Symbology - Everything Is Coming Up Color

"Google BarCode" - "One of the 10 things Google should develop!" - Google Watch 1) Walk into a store (grocery, clothes, computer) 2) Take a picture of the barcode of an item 3) Get Froogle Local Search results of which nearby stores carry the same item more cheaply. - Google BarCode would even add in the cost of time and gas and only show those products which were lower overall. - In a twist on the system, merchants would be automatically informed if you located cheaper products and could then bid for your business by offering you an electronic coupon, a discount on the product in their store if you bought it in the next, say, half hour. Image Credit: Google Watch

It's Springtime For Symbology - Everything Is Coming Up Color

In a press release issued at the beginning of this week, Microsoft announced that it has reached a licensing agreement with a Swiss agency charged with administering the ISAN numbering system. What makes this announcement unique is that this agency plans on using a new twist on the old, tried and true, bar - space - bar methodology of automatic identification … a barcode in color! What this will do is add another dimension to the process of scanning the barcode that allows for greater information to be stored and greater security to be achieved.

The barcode technology that Microsoft Research has developed is known as “high color capacity barcode format”, or HCCB. This is not the first application of adding the element of color to a symbology … but it is the first time someone has placed color on a standard barcode format to deepen the ability of the barcode to store and secure information … while presumably keeping the integrity of the barcode to be scanned by linear laser scanners.

The only way to get the full benefit of the addition of color is to read the symbology with an imager/camera. Technologically, lasers can not discern color in that they are only able to read a standard barcode via a timeline analog approach (bar, space, bar, space) ... then convert the signal to digital in order to decode the barcode.

Excerpts from IT Jungle -

Microsoft Breaks the Color Barrier for Barcode
by Alex Woodie - The Windows Observer - Published: April 18, 2007

In the last 25 years, the IT industry has seen various improvements in labeling technology, starting with simple two-dimensional barcodes, more advanced three-dimensional barcodes, and, finally, radio frequency identification (RFID), the "barcode killer." Now, Microsoft is trying to infuse new life into the tired black-and-white barcoding scheme with a new colorized barcode format.
"The capability of these new bar codes to store more data in a smaller space should provide a rich resource for the industry and consumers alike," says Gavin Jancke, director of engineering for Microsoft Research. "The new code offers several advantages over existing black and white bar codes most people are accustomed to seeing on product packages, enabling new consumer experiences, more visual appeal where aesthetics are important, and the ability to incorporate advanced security features."

On Monday, Microsoft announced that the International Standard Audiovisual Number International Agency (ISAN-IA), the Swiss agency charged with administering the ISAN numbering system, has licensed HCCB technology and plans to incorporate it into an authentication system for weeding out legitimate motion pictures, video games, broadcasts, and digital video recordings from forgeries.

In addition to authentication, HCCB has other uses. As the technology improves, Microsoft envisions barcodes being displayed on TV or computer screens, on movie posters or DVD or CD cases, or on magazine ads or billboards. To get more info, consumers would scan these color barcodes with their camera-equipped cell phones or Web cams.
New security features can also be incorporated into the color barcode. Microsoft cites a company called DatatraceDNA that plans to use HCCB to build anti-counterfeiting security protection features that could be added during the manufacturing process of most products. The company refers to this process as Digital Nanoparticle Authentication, or DNA.

Patrick Attallah, CEO of ISAN-IA, says HCCP will allow media publishers to provide counterfeit protection and a means for providing additional interactive services to consumers. "The capabilities enabled by this combination of bar code technology and supporting software are important for everyone," he says.
Read All>>

Additional Colorized Symbology Reference Posts:

3D Barcode - Auto ID "CUBED"

QR Based PM Code - The Best 3D Symbology Ever, Really!

Friday, April 06, 2007

The Mobile Web Becomes Right Sized

Inn at Craig Farm's phone site - Image Credit: Patrick Conlon

The Mobile Web Becomes Right Sized

As the mobility age becomes more of age, it was only a matter of time that the visual side, the display side of the web, started to deliver content for the small format screens like the ones found in ones pocket.

The cellphone world is beginning to catch on to the fact that pushing buttons to communicate (texting) is tedious at best, so now it is rapidly becoming automated with camera imagers and codes … but where does that take one?

Generally, to a website that is tailored to a computer screen. Scrolling and adjusting the format just sends one back to pushing buttons and tapping screens. Visually, the process is still a nightmare at best. Text is okay but graphics are all over the map.

The match-up between the site and the screen is just around the corner.

Company efforts are dedicating themselves to mobile sized web development for mobile phone users. At Symblogogy, with nearly 75% of cellphones in the field having web access capability, we say it’s about time that the mobile web becomes right sized.

This from The Wall Street Journal Online –

Mini Web Sites Target Users of Mobile Phones
New Kits Give Firms A Cellular Presence; Boon for Concertgoers?
By AMOL SHARMA - April 5, 2007 - WSJOnline

Johannes Tromp says the Web site for his South Carolina bed-and-breakfast generates good business. But last fall, he found a way to reach even more potential customers: He made a version of the site for cellphones.

Mr. Tromp signed up for a mobile Web address with the newly available suffix "dot-mobi" and used a self-starter kit from a company called Roundpoint Ltd. to build, the mobile site for his Inn at Craig Farm. He says he's gotten a surprisingly good response, with 30 to 40 new calls per month from interested travelers who heard of his inn by accessing the cellphone site.

"For people to find me, I have to make myself available any way I can," says Mr. Tromp, a Dutch native who was general manager of the Windows on the World restaurant in the World Trade Center before moving south for a career in hospitality.

As technology allows consumers to access the Internet with their cellphones, many big companies have launched mobile versions of their Web sites, including big media brands like MTV and ESPN and news sites like USA Today and The Weather Channel. But such projects can be costly and complex and until recently have been out of reach of small businesses.

Now new low-cost tools and services are making it easier to jump onto the mobile Web. Internet registrars such as Inc. and Network Solutions, who have helped millions of small businesses set up traditional dot-com sites, are now also beginning to roll out all-inclusive packages that help companies register and build mobile Web sites. And mobile-content specialists like the United Kingdom's Bango Ltd. have their own mobile kits that help companies get a basic Web presence on cellphones.

One way to promote a musician - Image Credit: Fli Digital

The wireless Internet is just beginning to take shape. Most consumers aren't nearly as comfortable with mobile Web surfing as they are with trolling the Web on PCs. Entering URLs can be difficult on many cellphones, and there's a limited amount of content that is well-formatted for a small screen. Cellphone networks are getting faster but still lag behind landlines significantly in broadband speeds.

Many small companies are planning to build mobile Web sites. Thousands are using dot-mobi domain names, which are administered by mTLD Ltd., whose backers include cellphone companies such as Nokia Corp. and Vodafone Group PLC as well as Internet service providers like those of Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp. The company, which gets a cut of registration fees, hopes that dot-mobi will become the de facto domain for mobile sites, much like dot-com is for the regular Internet.

Dublin-based mTLD says a separate mobile-specific domain is the only way to assure users that the site they will visit will be designed appropriately for a phone, with minimal graphics and verbiage and a format fit for a tiny screen. It has issued guidelines on how to develop appropriate mobile sites, and plans to charge content developers $250 to $300 to certify that they can build sites within dot-mobi standards.
Dot-mobi isn't the only alternative. Sites that end in dot-com or dot-net can also be designed so they show mobile-specific content when consumers access them through a mobile device. In fact, that is how most major media brands and other companies have built cellphone sites to date.

Internet registrars, who have made a living on small businesses and already offer a variety of tools to help them build basic Web sites, are taking advantage of the new opportunity in mobile.

For example, Harry Boadwee used GoDaddy to set up, a mobile Web site that provides information for travelers such as flight cancellations, weather and car-rental information. Registering the domain for a year cost him $12 . GoDaddy also provided Mr. Boadwee with site-development tools offered through a partnership with mTLD. Mr. Boadwee developed the site himself using those tools.

Network Solutions, which hosts the Web sites of 3.5 million small businesses, plans to begin selling dot-mobi addresses soon, along with a suite of tools with templates to build simple mobile Web sites. The company already has a tool that lets businesses automatically convert their existing Web sites into mobile versions -- stripping out unneeded verbiage and graphics -- but company executives say they encourage companies to build a mobile site from scratch.

In March, Bango rolled out Bango2Go, which offers small businesses hosting and mobile Web development as well as software that lets companies track who is visiting their site and bill customers for purchases. Bango's introductory package is $1,000, plus ongoing maintenance fees that will usually be a few hundred dollars. For bigger companies who want a more elaborate site with more content, the Bango fee is about $5,000.

Bango has already helped huge brands like News Corp. and World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. build their mobile Web portals, but its new product is aimed at smaller players such as Basin Street Records, a small independent music label in New Orleans.

The label's founder, Mark Samuels, is using Bango and Web-site designer Fli Digital Inc. of Hauppauge, N.Y., to develop cellphone Web sites for the nine artists he works with, beginning with jazz trumpeter Kermit Ruffins, whose new mobile Web page is Mr. Samuels says mobile sites will give concertgoers the ability to download ringtones or album art or even sign up for newsletters. All a fan needs is access to the mobile Web.
Reference Here>>

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Symbology Development Growth Gets MSM Attention

The pattern on a building in Tokyo is filled with information that can be read by a properly programmed cellphone with a camera. The technology can also be used for many other things, like buying airline tickets. Image Credit: Ko Sasaki for The New York Times

Symbology Development Growth Gets MSM Attention

Yes, that’s right, the Main Stream Media (MSM) here in North America is finally taking notice that cellphones and symbologies make good bedfellows (New York Times – “New Bar Codes Can Talk With Your Cellphone” – April,1 2007).

Ok, so they think, improperly so, that all symbologies are “Bar Codes” but the concept is clear – camera enabled cellphones are NOT phones with cameras … they are imagers with a way to link oneself with information either in the phone itself with decoding software, or to the internet via an automated software hyperlink function.

Again, all of this functionality is available now and has been a staple in the cellphone users world in Japan, Korea, The Philippines, and in many places throughout Europe.

As with anything else, the question comes down “monetization” … in other words, how do businesses make money through this proposition while giving the consumer what it wants?

Also, there are many types of symbologies, each designed to achieve a desired effect for the user of the program that is tied to the symbology that the phone is scanning.

Excerpts from The New York Times -

New Bar Codes Can Talk With Your Cellphone
By LOUISE STORY - The New York Times - Published: April 1, 2007

It sounds like something straight out of a futuristic film:
House hunters, driving past a for-sale sign, stop and point their cellphone at the sign. With a click, their cellphone screen displays the asking price, the number of bedrooms and baths and lots of other details about the house.

Media experts say that cellphones, the Swiss Army knives of technology, are quickly heading in this direction. New technology, already in use in parts of Asia but still in development in the United States, allows the phones to connect everyday objects with the Internet.

In their new incarnation, cellphones become a sort of digital remote control, as one
CBS executive put it. With a wave, the phone can read encoded information on everyday objects and translate that into videos, pictures or text files on its screen.

“The cellphone is the natural tool to combine the physical world with the digital world,” that executive, Cyriac Roeding, the head of mobile-phone applications for CBS, said the other day.

In Japan,
McDonald’s customers can already point their cellphones at the wrapping on their hamburgers and get nutrition information on their screens. Users there can also point their phones at magazine ads to receive insurance quotes, and board airplanes using their phones rather than paper tickets. And film promoters can send their movie trailers from billboards.

Advertisers say they are interested in offering similar capabilities in the United States, but cellphones in the States do not come with the necessary software. For now, consumers have to download the technology themselves.
“Everything in the physical world has information related to it somewhere electronically, including yourself and the desk you’re sitting in,” said Chas Fritz, chief executive of NeoMedia Technologies, a company developing these cellphone capacities.

The most promising way to link cellphones with physical objects is a new generation of bar codes: square-shaped mosaics of black and white boxes that can hold much more information than traditional bar codes. The cameras on cellphones scan the codes, and then the codes are translated into videos, music or text on the phone screens.
In Japan, the codes did not become mainstream until the largest cellphone companies started loading the code readers on all new phones a few years ago. Now, millions of people have the capability built into their phones, and businesses, in turn, are using them all over — on billboards, street signs, published materials and even food packaging.
“There are three things you tend to carry — your keys, your wallet and your phone,” said Rishad Tobaccowala, chief executive of Denuo, a unit of the Publicis Groupe that focuses on emerging and future technologies. “I can see something in advertising in one place, scan it with my phone and recall it later when I am shopping. Or, imagine, I can buy it using my phone.”

About a third of the 84 million households with cellphones in the United States have phones that have cameras on them, according to Forrester Research, and that number is expected to grow as consumers replace their phones. But few people with those phones have downloaded the software to read the codes.

In Japan, some highway billboards have codes large enough for passing motorists to read them with their phones. Hospitals put them on prescriptions, allowing pharmacies to instantly scan the medical information rather than read it. Supermarkets stick them on meat and egg packaging to give expiration dates and even the names of the farmers who produced them.

One of the most popular uses in Japan has been paperless airline tickets. About 10 percent of the people who take domestic flights of All Nippon Airways now use the codes on their cellphones instead of printed tickets.
The new technology would allow phones to read the codes from computer screens, too.

Commuters rushing out the door could scan Web sites on their computer screens with their phones to take the content with them. MySpace users could put a code on their personal pages, so that their friends can quickly transfer the profiles to their phones.
In the Philippines, the Daily Philippines newspaper has run ads with the codes. In Britain, News Group Newspapers, the division of the News Corporation that includes newspapers like The Sun, is testing the codes along with some of its sports articles. Readers can scan the code in the newspaper and then see videos relating to the article. Similarly, Economie Matin, a magazine in France, is testing the codes.

In the United States last fall, the Canadian alternative rock band Barenaked Ladies placed the codes on concert posters. The publisher Prentice Hall is including the codes in a new marketing textbook for undergraduates so that they can get updates on case studies using the codes.

Executives at Verizon, AT&T and Sprint declined to say whether they were in discussions with the companies that make the code reading technology. Bar code companies said the carriers stood to benefit from the codes because they might encourage consumers to add Internet service plans to their accounts and spend more time on their phones.

The wireless companies have other options to help cellphones interact with the physical world.

They could, for instance, adopt image recognition software, which would allow phones to recognize anything — a Coca-Cola can, for example — and deliver related messages. Or, text messaging, currently the most common way that advertisers interact with consumers on their phones, has many advertiser applications.

Advertisers have also experimented with Bluetooth wireless devices and radio frequency identification to beam messages from billboards to consumers’ cellphones, but those technologies are more expensive than the codes.

Even if the wireless companies adopt the bar codes, they will have several formats to choose from. The most widely used ones have names like Semacode, QR Code and Qode.

Getting consumers to use new technologies like these codes takes a lot of marketing by the carriers, said David Oberholzer, associate director of content programming at Verizon Wireless. He said Verizon is just starting to profit from the work it did to create interest in text messaging.

“The consumer needs a reason to do it,” said Jim Levinger, chief executive of Nextcode, a bar code company. “They don’t just wake up and say, ‘Hey, let’s go scan some bar codes.’ ”
Read All>>

Here is a short comparison graphic. The graphic is by no means complete with all of the symbology application developments that have been underway for use in the PWC/PWH marketplace. The graphic shows what the Main Stream Media missed in the telling of their "discovery".

Comparison Graphic: Highlights some of the major symbologies (as the MSM says - "bar codes") and their comparative strength for use as camera phone implementers. Image Credit: Symblogogy (based upon estimates of statistical information)

For those who have the interest and the time, one can perform a demonstration of this "Code Connection" on their own cellphones. Just follow the Demo Link at the NYTCODE (subscription may be required)!