smartpox - bringing bar codes to life

smartpox. is a service that delivers on an idea that has long been trailed in tech & business magazines, namely one in which simply by scanning a barcode with a device like your phone, you are immediately connected to more information about that product. Such info might have come from the manufacturer or from customer blogs or magazine reviews. It may link you into to product ads/video or connect you to a customer adviser who may be able to answer a question that the store reps can't (or are seemingly to busy to notice a customer because they've something fascinating to discuss about Big Brother on tv).

This will be immensely powerful:- allowing for the consumer to be more informed at the point of sale; identifying a pre-qualified customer to a manufacturer as well as enabling a direct dialogue between the two which bypasses the retailer; allowing for expertise to be "on hand" to respond to customer enquiries rather than relying on superficial advice from the retailer.

Smartpox has set itself an enormous challenge though, in that they require the use of their barcoding system on the product, rather than having adopted the existing barcodes used by a manufacturer [creates an adoption barrier] and users are required to install a java applet to their phone. For as long as their proprietary coding system is not widespread, there is no incentive to install the app and in turn for manufacturers to implement it. Consequently, it may remain very niche - alternatively, a myspace generation could latch onto it and create crowdswell!

posted by John Wilson @ 3:17 PM Permanent Link newsvine reddit


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