2008 has shown companies tightening the gloves in a fight for mobile barcode supremacy. The fight is warming up –but we will wait until 2009 for an all out war.
2008 has cemented the foundations for a steady and connected mobile barcode industry. Standards bodies and industry associations have finally caught up. Some mistakes have been made – but all in all the foundations for a healthy mobile barcode market are in the pipeline.
Mobile Agencies such as Ogilvy hired big guns in the mobile barcode industry in the UK to take a lead of their mobile advertising initiatives (Scott Seaborn went to OgilvyOne).
Mindshare executives stood up at several conferences and said, “I love mobile barcodes”.
Ralph Lauren executed a big deal in the US making its barcodes mobile and this was even picked up by eBay at the dotmobi conference in London and given as a killer example of the future.
NeoMedia is finally on the right foot with a new stronger sales team and marketing team putting the company back on track.
UpCode is carving a niche in the enterprise section.
Mobiqa has created a European mobile barcode rollout for Village Cinemas and Everyman cinema in the UK and has a ticketing initiative with Chiltern Railways.
Scanbuy has managed to make some ways in the US market with CTIA and US operators. But again, the arrogance of the company for not speaking to me anymore makes me believe that this initiative will be hotly contested in 2009.
QR codes as a brand name have made an entrance in the US and Europe.
Lufthansa has gone mobile barcode crazy in Germany and is leading the way for a seamless mobile ticketing system.
Mbarc in the Netherlands is also fighting for market share in the airline industry as the airlines are early adopters of this technology.
Nokia is trying to add its mobile barcode scan technology to every new device and Microsoft has had a hot cold but now hot again year in the mobile barcode space.
Google has launched Mobile Barcode advertising and this is a sign that print to online to mobile new media advertising is on its way.
New initiatives such as Delivr enforce mobile codes and make all mobile sites into a mobile code – this will fuel the acceptance and initiative of mobile codes moving forward.
Three predictions for 2009
My predictions for 2009 are based around the assumption that there will be war in the industry and all players will have their gloves on and in guard position….
The patent war will continue in 2009. NeoMedia will win the in-direct patent for mobile barcodes but relax its other patents.
Mobiqa will start to fight in the patents game as it owns the patent for Optimisation where the barcode is tailored specifically for customers handset makes and models.
Looking at the interest that Android Scan produced in 2008 – retail will embrace the 2D mobile barcode industry and another patent war will rage – surrounding discovery and codes.