Friday, November 23, 2007

Concert tickets directly on your cell phone

Users of Telstra’s (Australia’s leading operator) high-speed Next G phone network will soon be able to download concert tickets and other content directly to their phones by scanning special barcodes on billboards and other advertisements.

The trial will let Next G customers download tickets, vouchers and maps as well as go directly to websites or view streaming video. All they need do is photograph a barcode, which can be on any surface - from billboards and computer screens to bottles and T-shirts.

The barcode scanning software can be downloaded across the phone network through an SMS request. Telstra expects it to be installed on 1 million phones within 12 months, according to consumer marketing director David Moffatt.

Mobile codes are already popular in Japan with consumers using i-nigma, a technology installed on more than 60 million phones and developed by Israeli company 3GVision. I-nigma is compatible with a range of mobiles and runs on Java, Symbian, BREW and Windows Mobile devices. I-nigma has been trialled in Australia since March by Melbourne based mobile marketing company QMCODES.

Mobile barcodes will makes advertising more interactive and let people act on impulse.

Rather than seeing an ad in magazine and having to remember it, now people will be able to just point their phone at it and act on that impulse straight away.

You could be flicking through a magazine and see an ad for the latest BMW. Now you can just take a picture with your phone and find out more information even book a test drive all in a few clicks.”

The technology also lets people create their own barcodes, linking to websites such as a Facebook or MySpace page, and will further drive the social networking boom.

You could put your own barcode anywhere, from a business card to a T-shirt.

In Japan, people use them to link to the MySpace or Facebook profiles, so when you meet someone you can scan their code and instantly add them to your list of online friends.

Sidhartha Bezbora

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