Blog Post

Buying Mobile Music Via A Compact Disc

This is reasonably interesting – Mobot is a service that allows owners of camera phones to take a picture of a CD cover, (presumably) send it to a service and receive a message on their mobile that lets them click through and purchase a ringtone or music. It’s a nifty idea that reduces the trouble of finding a specific song via the menu system, similar to the tag-and-download service that does the same thing by playing the song along the phone call. The same restrictions apply, of course – the search only works with what is in the catalogue. The release also makes the claim “Mobot gives the world’s 215 million camera phone users an instant way to connect with their favorite music”, but doesn’t explain how the system works in different countries.
However, because humans are essentially visual creatures Mobot’s technology has more diverse applications than the audio version – a fact that hasn’t escaped them. “Mobot will make additional
announcements regarding other types of content acquisition in the coming months,” said CEO Russ Gocht. What types of content? Suggestions include taking a picture of a movie poster to receive content related to the movie or tickets, a picture of an ad will show you where to buy the product advertised or offer a free sample, a picture of a cute stranger will provide you with their phone number and list of hobbies – OK, I made that last one up. The point is that there is a lot you can do, although many of these things would require location technology or registration.
Why would people bother taking a picture of a movie poster when they could just SMS the title and receive the same benefits? Well, I’m not sure. But there are some interesting applications from a marketing perspective. For example, send in a picture of a billboard and receive something free. Different billboards can be placed in different locations, all of them offering different gifts and if someone gets all the pictures they win something extra special – it gets people thinking about the brand and actually searching for advertising. In itself the technology isn’t incredibly interesting, but with a bit of imagination it could do some amazing things…