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Young people carry their phones with them everywhere, and whilst 3G may make the web browsing experience more acceptable, using the 12 phone keys to interact with the web can be challenging.

A company called MOBOT has addressed this challenge with a unique visual recognition technology that allows consumers with a camera phone to take pictures to respond or express interest in relevant products.

mobot

The technology can be applied to various marketing mechanics. Here’s a few examples from Mobot.

Mobot can deliver information, discounts or special offers
Where can you buy the shoes in that ad? Just take a picture and Mobot the ad. Want a ringtone from your favorite band? Mobot the CD case. Want the score from today’s game? Mobot the team logo.

…or multiply impressions through scavenger hunts and games
Consumers can Mobot your existing media or you can send them off to Mobot something else – a smile, a car, their favorite silly face. Create a scavenger hunt where pictures are clues. Morph pictures into coded messages. Launch trivia games. Send Magic 8 ball style responses. Bring on the interactivity, turn on the fun.

…or kindle word-of-mouth viral campaigns
Mobot can start a cascading effect triggering special emails that can be forwarded to friends. Mobot can be the key to accessing exclusive offers that can only come by referral. Mobot photo contests don’t just create great online content for marketers, but they also get consumers to text and email their friends to vote for their entries. Nothing brings on word of mouth like pictures.

I like the idea and when the technology is packaged with some clever calls to action, it could really enhance existing print and billboard media. To often, by the time you get back to a computer the “call to action” is forgotten, but enabling a phone camera shot will tap the impulse and cool factor providing the ability to respond at the time of interest. SMS’ing a brand name or special code to a number can deliver a similar benefit and may actually be quicker, although doesn’t quite have the same cool factor.