January 07, 2010

It's a mad, mad, mobile world


My 79 year-old Mother asked for my business card yesterday.  “Oh no, honey, this isn’t good enough,” she said, inspecting it.  What she objected to was, in Pure fashion, our cards carry minimal information.  No titles.  No color logo.  No picture.  Just a name and brief contact information.   She wanted a Chinese menu to wave in the faces of her bridge club.  Wait till I tell her my vision for our new cards:  Eliminate everything except for a 2D bar code.  More on that in a moment.

This year will mark the intersection of mobile and embedded media in America, in a big way. The penetration of iPhones (and introduction of Android phones) is reaching critical mass.  So, in our company, I have suggested we eliminate everything on our 2010 cards except for a crossword puzzle-looking little mark with embedded information.  Anyone who snaps a picture of it with their camera phone will get ALL my contact information downloaded to their address book, a link to our website (and this blog) and even a personal video.
Much like in Japan, you will be amazed at how your phone will connect you to the physical world.  Want to pay for coffee with your phone?  Starbucks has already rolled out a way to do it.  Want information from that flat Volkswagen print ad?  Wave your phone over the code and a video pops up on your mobile. 

Already, iPhoners are “bumping” contact information, searching restaurants though augmented reality (Yelp) and dropping a trail of breadcrumbs wherever they go (FourSquare and Gowalla).  Mobile phones will be collecting and disseminating more and more information  that exists only in the digital world.  And it’s only starting to gain traction.  My Mom is going to hate this.



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