Introduction to Mobile Tagging
Mobile tags link offline tags to online content optimized for mobile delivery
By: Stewart McKie
Sep. 3, 2009 01:00 PM
Mobile tagging is a process, a technology and a marketplace.
The process of mobile tagging involves creating a visual image in a very specific format – called a tag – then deploying and displaying the tag either online or offline. You see the tag and use your mobile phone camera to snap it. When the tag is snapped you’re sorted as this triggers immediate delivery of content to your phone.
The technology of mobile tagging includes various tag formats that are recognized by a specific tag reader. The reader is an application installed on the mobile that needs to be loaded to snap the tag. Most readers only recognize one or a handful of tag formats. The reader’s job is to recognize and resolve the tag – that is to read the tag and make the connection between the tag and the information or content it is linked to via the Internet.
The marketplace of mobile tagging involves the sale/provision of tag generators – used to render the tag image - tag readers and tag management applications. Tag management applications are used to manage your inventory of tags, the information and content that the tag delivers, and to monitor the performance of your tags.
Why is it Useful?
Mobile tagging is instant information gratification for the mobile generation. You can read about many examples of tags in use on our blog at http://vizitag.blogspot.com.
What Do I Need to Use It?
• You need a camera-enabled mobile phone • You need access to the Internet ‘on the go’ • You need a tag reader installed on your phone
Most modern mobiles have a camera but not all support tag readers and not everyone either has an Internet-enabled phone or Internet connectivity while out and about in their area. So mobile tagging is not yet for everyone. But if you own a modern mobile and live in a big city you are probably set. You can also almost certainly snap tags (e.g. in a magazine) when you are at home if you have a wireless connection to the Internet.
How Do I Get Started – Snapping Tags?
Once your tag reader is installed, when you see a tag you just load the application and snap the tag. It’s that simple.
How Do I Get Started – Creating Tags?
Currently there’s a limited number of options for what these generated tags can do when you snap them, but all will resolve to a URL so that some content you specify will display on a phone when the tag is snapped.
How Do I Get Started – Managing Tags?
How Much Does it Cost?
Per-snap fees may be charged and tag management systems will almost certainly not be offered for free to businesses making heavy use of the functionality. Whether these costs will be passed on to the tag snapper (i.e. consumer) remains to be seen but the businesses that exploit mobile tagging for marketing and other purposes will almost certainly end up paying for mobile tagging in much the same way as they are paying for pay-per-click online advertising today.
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