Thursday, 2 June 2011

Why Can’t Smart Phones Read?

I’ve been investigating useful uses for QR codes and while I’ve got a couple…they still feel rather flimsy. Like the QR Code is being used as a cute novelty – rather than a way to enhance communication.

QR Codes are inherently temporary (as in, tomorrow a better encoding technology will exist and today’s readers aren’t future proof). People can’t read QR Codes. Only machines can. Text has a much longer lifespan. It’s more portable and more usable. In most cases the QR Code is linking to a URL or a short snippet of text anyway, so…..

Why can’t smartphones just read the text?

Rather than pointing your mobile device’s camera at a fugly barcode – what if you pointed it at a written out URL. The camera recognized it and asked you want you wanted to do w/ it (visit, send, save, copy).

Mobile OCR projects exist:

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

John’s Phone

To this day – the Palm Treo, for all it’s flaws, was my favorite phone. The team that designed the phone UI – had experience actually making phone calls. Every phone I’ve had since – including my current one – I’m less confident of that.

Instead, I have a pocket-size computer that always promises to improve my every moment – with all sorts of ‘productivity tools’. When what it really wants to do is distract me from being productive. And compel me with how needy it is. Smart phone? – No. Needy phone? yes.

So, I’m always on the look out for bold devices eschewing complexity.

My favorite part:

“The back of the phone features a small opening with an address book and pen – two unique features you can use even when your phone is switched off.”

Unlocked & €70.

Brilliance in what’s missing.


I had a really fun lunch today at the Bewiched Deli (I highly recommend the roast beef w/ horseradish sandwich).

As we were sharing some of the projects ideas we’re working on he stops the conversation suddenly and commands:

“Stay away from advertising. If I have to beat it into you – I will. Stay. Away. From. Advertising.”