I came across this video and thought that it was very interesting and addressed some great points such as:

What will the future of mobile payments look like?

Will NFC ever become a major player in the world of technology?

Will Google be the next big bank?

What do you think?


Lets Hook Up

Original post by http://mashable.com/2010/10/24/starbucks-card-mobile-new-york/

Starbucks has seen sufficient success with its Starbucks Card Mobile payment pilot program in select San Francisco, Seattle and Target stores that its ready to extend the program to nearly 300 company-operated stores in New York City and Long Island.

Starbucks Card Mobile for iPhone and BlackBerry lets users pay for their coffee by holding up the 2-D barcode on their smartphone to the scanner at the counter. The application allows customers to manage and reload their Starbucks Cards as well.

Customers have responded positively to the mobile payment option, Starbucks reports.

“We’re seeing more and more customers using their smartphones as their mobile wallets,” says Brady Brewer, vice president Starbucks Card and Loyalty. “We’ve heard from our customers on My Starbucks Idea that they want a faster, more convenient way to pay.”

The ultimate goal of the program is to get customers to trade in their physical Starbucks Cards for the digital variety — it’s a time saving exchange for the customer and a cost saving exchange for the company. Already, one in five of all in-store transactions are paid for via Starbucks Card (mobile or physical), and more than $1 billion will have been loaded on to cards by year’s end.

The extension of the mobile payment pilot comes on the heels of the reveal of Starbucks Digital Network. Mobile is an increasingly important avenue for Starbucks. The company reports that more than 50% of all logons to its free in-store WiFi are made via mobile phone, and that of its smartphone-carrying customer base, 71% have an iPhone or BlackBerry device.

If you check-in more than once a week, you need Checkin King.
With one app check-in to Facebook, Foursquare, Google, and Gowalla with Checkin King. Here is what the press is saying about Checkin King:
“Checkin King makes checking in to any or all of those services as easy as one click.” – Phandroid
“How to check in to multiple location services with one click” – CNET
“43 Best New Android Apps” – AndroidPolice.com
Another great way to encourage fans to check in at your establishment is to post a QR Code sticker on your business entrance.  You can order stickers for Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Google Plus, Yelp and more by clicking here

Lets Hook Up

Chevrolet is attempting to maximize its sponsorship of South by Southwest conference later this month by announcing the integration of three new social media technologies.

Chevy has partnered with Gowalla, a location-based social networking service to let attendees at the show check in and let friends and followers know where they are at any given moment. The auto brand is also rolling out Camaro, Volt and Cruze models with QR codes. Attendees who use their camera phones to photograph the codes will be taken to a dedicated microsite addressing key vehicle features. Finally, Chevy will offer augmented reality in the form of iReveal, an app offering three-dimensional models of various Chevy vehicles.


In a written statement, Christopher Barger, director of global communications and technology for GM, said the use of the applications will go well beyond the show. The QR codes, for instance, could be used to download the price and options for a vehicle on a dealer lot. AR could be used to preview different colors of the Camaro. “We are just scratching the surface of what’s possible with mobile technologies and social media applications,” Barger said.

Source: adweek.com


Lets Hook Up

A music industry tipping point of sorts arrived for QR (quick response) codes as PepsiCo announced that, through June 26, Taco Bell customers who buy the “Mountain Dew Free Music cup” can scan a QR code on the bottom of the cup to download free music and videos. The downloads will also be available for free, no purchase necessary, via the dedicated download site of Mountain Dew’s surprisingly cool Green Label Sound. They hope to distribute over 60 million cups in the course of this promotion.

Though QR codes for music promotion are apparently old news in Japan, momentum and acceptance seems to be slowly taking hold in the States. Noteworthy efforts have included Odd Future’s appearance on Jimmy Fallon and Lupe Fiasco’s Laser promo in San Francisco’s Union Square facilitated by RedLaser.

Actually, judging from sources like the Tappinn-connected QR Anywhere blog, a lot of experiments by mainstream brands are happening but somehow QR codes still have that edgy feel and that’s why folks can get so worked up about efforts like that of Odd Future. So does all this mean QR codes are coming into their own and it’s time for your music brand to get going?

Yes, absolutely. Smartphone usage in the States continues to grow as “69.5 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones during the three months ending in February 2011, up 13 percent from the preceding three-month period.” Awareness of QR codes among those smartphone owners is considered high though usage certainly lags awareness. And a variety of services are now available for generating and utilizing your own QR code.


In addition to the previously mentioned RedLaser and Tappinn, ShareSquare is available with a QR based music promo platform after a debut at SXSW. You can also create QR codes on bitly, as did Odd Future. Numerous other contenders are also available with more likely to be on the way.

Given that QR codes still have a certain trendy appeal yet are getting a boost into the mainstream by corporations like Pepsico, it appears that now is the time to start sorting out your own use of this promising tool for music marketing.

Source: hypebot.com


Lets Hook Up


Hi everybody! Who else out there uses short URLs when making QR codes that direct to websites? I’m sure a lot of you have come across the tip that writing less information into your codes keeps them simpler and easier to scan, especially at a small size. However, I haven’t seen anyone say ‘*make sure you leave ‘http://’ in front of the URL that you generate your QR code with!*’. Maybe that’s because it seems super obvious – after all, it’s the prefix that allows a URL to be read as a hyper link in the first place. But browsers are changing, and so are QR scanners. I use Google chrome, which did away with the once-ubiquitous prefix altogether. 

So let’s say I want to make a QR code that directs to a web page and I copy the URL from my address bar in Chrome and paste it into any QR generator. Or let’s say I am trying to keep my code small and I shorten my URL at goo.gl, where ‘http://’ is left off as well (see link section /below/ the generator). Then I test my code with Barcode Scanner and other Android QR readers and it totally works! So I think ‘Great! I don’t even need ‘http://’! That’s 7 less characters in my code!’ Or maybe I don’t even notice I left it off…

Long story short, I’ve done all of the above and I had no idea it was a mistake until I asked a coworker of mine to test some sample QR stickers I had ordered for our company. I’d personally tested lots of readers on my Droid, but she had an iPhone, so I was curious. She downloaded the first free scanner that came up in the iPhone app store,* QR Reader for iPhone*, and it scanned my code as plain text on a notepad, without even the capability to copy and paste it into a browser (p.s. short URLs look REALLY stupid this way)! And I repeat, THIS IS THE FIRST FREE QR SCANNER THAT COMES UP IN THE IPHONE APP STORE, so I imagine it must make up almost half of the scanners in use today. 

She downloaded another one and it worked just fine, but what I learned is that there is still software out there that needs ‘http://’ in order to recognize a link. Most programs fill it in on their own, and I assume that is the direction things are going, but we’re not there yet. So don’t make the same mistake I did and end up potentially losing half of your audience! Double-check that 
http://; is part of your code before you even make it! If someone goes 
to the trouble to scan your code and all they get is “goo.gl/Qnaxw “,
written on a plain text notepad, I have a feeling you’re not going to 
get the result you want.

Sarah Weis is an artist and Creative Director of i^3 hypermedia, a 
digital production and post-production studio in Chicago.

 


Lets Hook Up

With announcements by Google, Amazon, Mastercard, Sprint, and the 2012 Olympics Committee in the last few days, everyone is talking about near field communication (NFC) payments. As we transition to these contactless phone payments, the burden of security will shift from card-issuing banks to a new set of players: software developers, retailers, and consumers.

Everyone’s been talking about the companies involved in these new payments, who is investing in the technology, and how it will be used. People aren’t talking about the security implications, and which of the four involved parties (developers, banks, retailers, or consumers) should be responsible for our data security. As we saw last week in the Epsilon breach, our information is out there, and it’s not nearly as secure as we would like to think.

Who should burden this responsibility? Are software developers the gate-keepers of our information, or should financial institutions continue to be responsible for security as they have been with credit and debit cards? The issues are complex, but the time to discuss these issues is now. Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile have announced plans for NFC by the beginning of next year. Sprint one-upped them by announcing they will have NFC contactless payments in place by the end of the year, beating other providers to the punch.

A recent article and poll by Software Advice explorers these issues and asks readers to voice their opinion on the security implications of NFC. You can check it out here.

What’s your take on NFC? How do you think the technology will fare, and how will it affect QR codes?

Lets Hook Up