Friday, January 18, 2008

Beautiful...and worrying

6 months ago, as I was in the middle of developing a leading mobile code architecture (or so I thought), I heard that Scanbuy won the US cross carrier code scanning trial agreed by all 4 carriers. Mix of good and bad news really, wasn't happy they won it, but that meant the market was moving and there will be place for many to play. Specifically, if indeed all carriers stood behind the trial, it would imply interoperability, which is key to this whole ecosystem.
The trial beginning was scheduled to Jan '08 (oh, what time is it?!).

So today I came once again across The pondering primate post who has a link to Sprint's pleasantly surprising and beautifully made page on 2D barcodes for phones, PhoneIQ. beautiful, I really like it. good explanation on what it is, what phones its on (yup, looks like Sprint will preload the app on their leading phones which is great) etc. Maybe a bit on the techy side but that's alright. that's very good use for the VC money Scanbuy got, it will get them far.

The bit that worries me is that:
  • I'm not seeing any PR around it (Found the link in The pondering primate), but I'll confess to not doing much search
  • This page is well hidden in Sprint's web portal
  • I'm not seeing other operators pushing it

This correlates well with a discussion we had with another operator around mid last year who knew very little about this "cross carrier" trial.

The bottom line here is that I'm worried about how wide this trial will be, and how interoperable, widely marketed and recognized will the solution be. Will it be as common as SMS, or will it be as hesitant and partial service like UMA in the US?
They did a good job with Sprint, I'd like to see the same happening elsewhere.


dlethe01 said...

September 20, 2007
Jonathan Bulkeley, CEO de Scanbuy, probably mentioned this:
"In US, we are launching pilot in Jan 1 2008, with 5 biggest carriers."

Garrick Schmitt is the one who provided the Sprint PhoenIQ website. I really don't know how Garrick had found it. He probably knows the Sprint Web designer. :)

"New Sun service merges print with mobile video."
Martin N. Copus, former COO of Neomedia, is now working for 3G Vision. New Sun is using i-nigma reader. Neomedia has lost contracts, clients, partners,...after Martin Copus left the company.

I think you have missed this one.

Thank you for your great comments.

streetstylz said...

Sprint made a monumental mistake on their Scanlife website.

Upon accessing the website, what do I see? NeoMedia's New York Times Aztec code floating all over the site.

Using both qode and the NeoReader, I was able to quickly lock onto the 2D Aztec code and go straight to the New York Times mobile WAP site ala NeoMedia.

One would think Scanbuy would have had some input into the Sprint/ScanLife website before it launched and went live.

Why go forward with the launch of the website when it has NeoMedia's New York Times Aztec code featured predominately throughout?

To the average Joe consumer, they are not going to know the difference between a Scanbuy EZcode and a NeoMedia Aztec code. But to those who follow closely the mobile code reading space, they will quickly identify the 2D Aztec code as being synonymous with NeoMedia.