Thursday, May 31, 2007

Check out Massachusets Gas Prices cool mobile access

Mobile code scanning enables users to access gas prices on the go
For those of you who are price sensitive when you're refueling your car (and are getting ready for when we hit the $4/Gallon point), I found this cool website called "Massachusetts Gas Prices", which has lots of useful information besides just giving you the cheaper options in your area. For example, you could find historical gas price chart in the last, say, 2 years, compared to crude oil prices here.

They also offer a nice little WAP site accessible from your phone called You get there, enter your zip code (or where you want to refuel) and get the cheaper stations in that area. Here's the page that describes how it works, you also have an SMS options etc.

Here's a code that links there so you can print yourselves and keep in the car :-)Check local gas prices using ConnexTo, the mobile code scanning solution

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Cell A House: the ConnexTo spin

Cell A House Mobile Marketing
Scott Shaffer has an interesting post on how Realtors and interested buyers can exchange information using their mobile phones. The service is brought by "Cell A House" from Mobile Visions. The benefits are obvious and immediate, as Scott states: "A great idea and long overdue". Imagine those ads on newspapers coming to life on your phone.

Let me add my 2 cents:
Right now the way to use the service is to text the (I'm guessing) house number to a short code. For example, you can try the service by texting H0000 to 95495. Sure, everyone has SMS and the service is easy and But-How many people get it right?

Let me propose a ConnexTo enhancement:
try scanning the code on the left using ConnexTo (get ConnexTo code reader to your phone from (Sorry the code came out a little fuzzy but that's due to my graphical incompetency...)

Cell-A-House using ConnexTo, the mobile code scanning solution
Cell A House Mobile Marketing SMS Details

Interesting comment on proprietary vs. QR codes

Following a recent NYC "mobile camp" (good coverage from Mobilitee), Scott Shaffer commented the following in his excellent Blog:

"A couple issues I still see with PWC.

What or where this QR code give me? Outside of Semapedia ("Internet Dictionary") there is no mainstream application that encourages people to click on a code. Price comparison is the most discussed PWC application but that is for 1d codes (barcodes).

One of the reasons I like the proprietary code players Nextcode and BeeTagg is because their codes are distinguishable AND you know what information you will get when their codes are scanned.

There has to be a reason, or an expected outcome, to get people to scan a code. Curiosity won't drive adoption."

You can read the complete post here.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Smart's DECODE mobile codes

Smart DECODE mobile codes based on ConnexTo technologyI had mentioned this earlier in my posts, but now I can show it:
Here's one cool picture from a Smart store. These codes allow people to get content from Smart's deck by simply clicking to scan a code. simple, right?

If you're not a Smart Communications subscriber, you're bound for a little surprise: The standard ConnexTo code reader will scan the code, but it won't tell you what's the content of this code!

Smart DECODE mobile codes based on ConnexTo technologyThese codes are "Smart codes", meaning that only Smart Communications can create those codes and only Smart subscribers can use them. Why? because those codes connect to Smart's mobile payment/purchasing solution, and clearly Smart wanted only their subscribers to enjoy the benefits of their solution. Get it?

ConnexTo allows you to have "public codes" that everyone can create, anyone can scan using the "public" code reader. BUT in addition, using ConnexTo, a carrier, advertiser, operator or anyone else, can create a targeted campaign, which will allow special features only to their intended audience. Only they can create those codes, and only their audience, using the "customized" code reader can scan them. Here's a couple more advantages of this approach:
  • The campaign owner (brand, operator,...) has full control to customize their user experience. for example, if they want to show a product name, price and get user input, they can do so. by doing that they ensure predictable positive user experience.
  • Second, the campaign owner can prevent frauds by inserting hidden information into the code, that provides authenticity to the message. the user can see the visible fields and enter their input, but they don't get to see the security stuff behind the scenes.
  • Third, obviously this gives campaign owner the ability to give special offers to their subscriber base, keeping them happy and bringing new ones in.
I think its quite powerful.

ConnexTo international coverage

International coverage of ConnexTo, the mobile code scanning solutionYou'd be surprised what a quick search in Google digs up. I did a search for ConnexTo images and this is what came back.

Here's some complementary coverage of ConnexTo in Bulgarian (You can find a translation service here) (Thanks Vladimir) , and here's one from Italy in Master New Media picks. Very cool!

Hear It 'N Get It: New service that brings consumers closer to mobile content

Hingi: Hear it N Get it mobile Content CampaignJust came across a very cool service for mobile users: "Hear it 'N Get It". Supposedly, once you hear a song you like on TV or on the radio, the service will allow you to send an SMS to a shortcode (4144) with the name of the TV/Radio channel. You will get an SMS back with links to the last 3 songs played and then you can download various versions of the content.
Here's their version: "Hear It 'N Get It allows users to buy mobile content in just 2 clicks, irrespective of the type of the handset they use, or the broadcast source of the music they hear.The service requires no agent software, no portal and no search-engine."

So that's the service, here's a couple thoughts:
  • What caught my eye is the healthy approach the company ( is taking: "Users buy content in just 2 clicks". Service sign up? NO, Support for pre-paid subscribers? YES, Limitations on who can use it? NO, What am I being charged for? you'll get charged only if the song was found, any fixed charges? NO. Reach, Simplicity and Value are the name of the game.
  • I LOVE the design on their consumer-oriented site (Hebrew, English). It's cool and immediate to understand: what is the service about, how does it work for me.
  • The challenge, as always is the consumer education: How do I know about the service, the shortcode and the exact code for the station. But: with the right business model, they can get the station to promote their service.
Unfortunately it seems like the service for now is available only in Israel, but with a recent $3.4M investment, I'm sure they are thinking global :-)
Good luck guys!

Friday, May 18, 2007

ConnexTo Review by Alessandro Pace and others

ConnexTo LogoIt's been a while since my last post...lots of work, interest and business. All's good!

It's always great to hear complementary reviews on your solution, especially if they come in midday Friday :-)

Italy Tourism ConnexTo codeHere's one that came from Alessandro Pace, an organizer of MobileMondayBoston group, a guru and Forum Nokia Pro in the flash space, and a great friend. Here's some of his thoughts: "I have to say that it worked like a champ. I was really impressed with their application and technology since my experience with other barcodes was not so great". You can read more here.

At the same breath, we received another quote from an impressed user (other side of the planet ...):
"I think that ConnexTo is better because of the following reasons:
It has a better error detection system, if the image is distorted or a little out of focus, it can still scan the code successfully. I did some testing with some codes on their web site and it was a lot better than others.
The client software is available for a variety of devices. It (the codes) can be created on many different shapes which makes it easier to fit on newspaper ads."

Anyway, enough for today, hope you enjoyed reading. If you have any comments yourselves, please let me know, I'll be looking forward to hear from you.
There's going to be a lot more news to share soon, watch this space!...