Played with a few of these today at work. No interesting motion-capable apps come preinstalled though (that was my main reason to play with it :(). I'll have to download some I guess. The press release shows a full list of features, so check it out.


Trillcode Take 2

I was a little critical of Trillcode in a previous post about 2 months ago, especially the hype about integrating logos into (below) the codes. In the past months they have made some enhancements that allow you to place an image or animation within the code itself - a vast improvement that places the brand at the center of attention rather than the code itself.
I am still most enthusiastic about the approach Logo-Q takes, even though they charge an arm an a leg (around ¥200,000|€1,300|$1,600) Euro for one. With a little more practice I expect to be showing them up. DesignQR has me just as mystified, charging around ¥57,000|€350|$475 for a monochrome code with a tiny emoji-like image embedded in it. The same thing with more than two colors will run you an extra ¥20,000 (you could do this yourself with GIMP in 2 minutes). I didn't manage to track down pricing for the Trillcode PC Encoder, but I am very interested in finding out. Even if it is pricey, at least your money goes for a tool that you can generate many codes with rather than a designer dot-box that will lose it's purpose hen your campaign is over. Hmmm, now I guess I am being too hard on Logo-Q and DesignQR.



About a month ago I wrote a little about Logo-Q and DesignQR and how they allow you to add images and logos within or integrated with QR-codes. It's not too difficult to see how they did it. Each QR-code can be broken down into pixel-like elements. If you just try to maintain the contrast between dark and light in the code you can make the codes much more interesting. When I get back to Holland I want to try this with some other barcode formats. These examples are a little crude, but not bad for 45 minutes of experimenting with Gimp. Especially considering that Logo-Q charges around 200,000 yen and up for one code. With a little refinement I could probably automate this:

  • Choose background color
  • Choose foreground color
  • Choose and place image
  • Choose dot pattern shape
Maybe I'll hack around with the Ruby qrencoder module or the qr-code Firefox addon.

Google Calendar and Checkout Go Mobile

So Google calendar is now officially mobile. No more hacks or v-cal exports to my phone (not necessary, anyway). Plus you get a nice link to a map if the event contains location information. Also Google Checkout is mobile as well. Users verify their identity via PIN rather than account credentials. Can't wait to try it out. Now if they will just let people pay in euros and yen as well as dollars and pounds...

Mobile Monday Amsterdam!

Wow! Just in time for my move to Holland. Now I won't have to take the train to Düsseldorf or Brussels to attend MoMo. Possible problem is that so far almost all correspondence is in Dutch and I have only just managed to learn how to order beer and ask people where they are from. Unfortunately I will not be able to attend the June 4 since I just came back to Tokyo to pack it in for Holland, but I definitely plan to be there regularly. Sadly I rarely made it to the Tokyo MoMo due to my company's love of late, long Monday meetings so I am doubly happy that I am moving to glorious Amsterdam.

Mobile Adverising: How do I focus this thing?

Tom Wheeler, Managing Director at Core Capital Partners has recently published two articles on mobile marketing that draw a lot of parallels to cable television's advertising model. They are very interesting reads that got me thinking more deeply about distribution models of mobile advertising.

Mobile-related services are personal, but a one-to-one distribution model is costly to implement. Rather than trying to target "everyone" mobile marketing campaigns and ads can still target each individual, and this is easy to do on a mobile web site or with an SMS/email magazine. For casted media and programming, however, it becomes a little more difficult. If you are broadcasting a video feed to a wide audience, how can you target the users on an individual basis? Mr. Wheeler explains how the advertising landscape in the mobile space now closely resembles that of cable television in the 1970's. At first we tried to reach the widest audience possible, but niche programming channels directed at narrower demographics will more effectively target users and probably see a higher conversion rate, if not higher overall participation.

Targeted mobile services resemble a magazine rack at a large bookstore. Anyone who has picked up a fashion magazine (or certain tech magazines) knows that ads can make up more than 50% of it's content. Some people even buy them for the ads. Why? Because they are narrowly targeted and relevant. If only every other ad was pertinent to magazine's theme it would indeed be annoying and you would skip over them to avoid wasting time mentally filtering pages and pages of advertisements. Cable is similar in that I probably won't ever see a Hooter's commercial on Lifetime.

Television commercials are pretty broad in focus. Sure, you will see more toy commercials interleaved with Saturday morning cartoons than during a basketball game, but your favorite station doesn't know you. It just makes educated assumptions about your interests based on demographic research. Mobile services can get to know you though your profile information and behavioral analysis, not a just control group of people similar to you (though cross-referencing similar users is a good way to recommend new products to you). Your favorite mobile service has the means to know what you like, when you like it, what ads you have responded to, etc. If this information is being gathered, it may as well be applied in a way that improves the user experience.

As screens get sharper and larger and networks get faster, the audience will probably tolerate ads taking up display real estate more readily. This will also give marketers an opportunity to provide more interactive campaigns and more interesting incentives.