Needle in a haystack.
That’s all I kept thinking this week as I read through the Cisco forecast for mobile traffic. Why aren’t we all network programmers? Job security for at least the next decade! The numbers are mindboggling, but in some ways, the challenges are exactly the same as now: How do those of us on the other side of the bandwidth find the needle in the haystack – i.e. the audience for whatever we are trying to sell or provide on the Internet? Which of course, gets us back to analytics or perhaps more succinctly, the ability to use metadata to find and track your potential/returning audience.
In that vein, QR codes are almost a quaint notion of how to do it: Convince a potential customer to take the time to scan a code. But I still find QR codes flawed. Designed to be more convenient, it actually can be more time consuming than just typing in a web address. And personally, after using QR codes a few times and being disappointed by how unremarkable the “get” was, I find I barely utilize them at all anymore. I was ready to write them off until I saw this column from the Tampa Bay Times showing how a retail outlet is using them in a way that makes more sense. For now it seems like the technology being offered by Apsalar and other developers seems much more likely to help find that needle in the haystack.
Just as a point of reference, QR codes were an improvement over a reader-engagement model the Dallas Morning News tried back in 2000 when tying Internet content to the morning paper was a lot more nouveau. But the CueCat (a barcode reader) never took off, in part because technology eclipsed it and as the Wall Street Journal’s Walter Mossberg noted, “In order to scan in codes from magazines and newspapers, you have to be reading them in front of your PC. That’s unnatural and ridiculous.” QR codes may have fixed the mobility issue of the CueCat but it still hasn’t delivered. I think the local Bluetooth technology Richard highlighted in his blog post is the likely next generation “CueCat” solution.
1) What’s the mobile device-to-person ratio in your home? Do you see that growing by 2017? Why? (Personal disclosure: We have five- mobile-equipped devices in our house between two adults and a child — two smartphones, two laptops, one tablet. I imagine it’s only a matter of time before we acquire at least one more device for my daughter, age 6, which would take our ratio from 5:3 to 6:3 – no wonder there will soon be more mobile devices than people).
2) What is your favorite function of your mobile device? (For me, it’s online banking, for example – huge timesaver) And do you see a niche for a product you want on your mobile device that isn’t being fulfilled?
3) Would you consider employing a local Bluetooth-type technology for your own home? Would you like lights to come on when you approach your house? The oven to start cooking dinner, etc?