Friday, January 14, 2005

Contextual Content Via Cell Phones

The newest trend identified by is mobile access of contextually relevant information using “ready-to-know” technologies. Japan's new 'Scan Search' enables consumers in any real-world store to point their cell phones at a product's barcode and then be instantly directed to on their phone screen, where they can view the -- no doubt lower priced -- item, and have it sent to them straight away. The future? Nokia is already working on a phone that can 'read' RFID tags, the latter being the new bar codes.

Dutch ("text a house") works with real estate agents to enrich 'for sale' or 'for rent' signs with a unique text code, allowing passers-by interested in a certain property to text, instantly receive and store detailed information on their cell phone. Details include asking price, address, number of rooms, square footage, seller, etc.

Consumers who hear an unknown song while hanging out in the pub, listening to the radio or sitting in a restaurant, only need call 2580, point their phone to the music source, and London-based Shazam will then send a text message (SMS) reply with the name of the artist and the track. In the US, a similar technology has been developed by Gracenote, in conjunction with Philips Research. The service is called Mobile MusicID, and comes with an impressive database of over 7 million 'waveform fingerprints', growing by 25,000+ each week. The MusicID technology is used by MusicPhone in the US (available on AT&T Wireless, now Cingular).


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