This is sort of neat, Thwapr, who do mobile video sharing, have now tied in QR codes to their service so that mobile marketing can include video into its mix. Basically you can now scan a QR Code and head straight to a video on your mobile phone. I happen to have a tag scanner on my iPhone, so I went to check it out.
So there were a couple tags included in the release on Marketwire, scanning them takes one right to Thwapr.mobi in a web browser. Clicking on the thumbnail of course opens Quicktime and the video loads in there. The streaming didn't seem able to keep up with the video and the video would go away and I would be left with a Quicktime symbol. Sort of lame. So I fired up the old Nokia N97 and tried Scanlife, the app for scanning codes which couldn't connect to the Internet. I blame the Nokia for that and not the app, though the app wasn't able to find my current Wi-Fi network while the iPhone could. So now you see why I don't use the Nokia anymore.
On the iPhone the Microsoft Tag reader couldnt' scan either of these QR codes (lame) because of course they had to be different and use this stupid third one instead of just using one of the others.
Meanwhile, the QRReader app of course couldn't read that colorful one, not the one without the squares in the corners.
So really, how productive will this be for mobile video marketing and advertising? How many applications does one need on a phone to be able to scan a bloody square? I went to the iTunes App store and put in QR for a search which came back, in the first 25 results, with 9 paid apps and 16 free ones. There were a couple pages of results surprisingly so how does one choose between them?
Well I finally found one that had multiple codes in the screenshots in the hopes that I only needed one. That app was i-nigma and it was so quick that I barely even centered the code and it had already pulled the information. OK, so now you've seen the great lengths I'll go to just to see a Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders video.
i-nigma was quite cool in that it was also able to scan the other QR code (not the MS Tag of course). So that will be my app of choice.
The thing that bothered me was the poor performance from the Thwapr streams. They all pushed about 5-10 seconds of video and then it reloaded and was audio only. It's possible that it's my old iPhone, but in their release they state "300 different types of phones including 50 different BlackBerry models, 40 types of Samsung phones, iPhones and more," so why didn't it work right on mine? I decided to reboot it and see if that helped.
While the iPhone rebooted, which takes way too long if you ask me, I pondered the ramifications of this service
- Could give quick access to video content on mobile
- Looks cooler than a butt-ugly URL
- Gives us a reason to play with apps, phones and cameras
- Might afford advertisers and marketers a quick way to link video to other content
- Could royally piss someone off when it doesn't work
- Could alienate those pissed off people because of all the choices and futzing required to get it to work.
- Didn't play the videos properly on my first generation iPhone, though it states the it supports iPhones.
- Someone might, just might, become so upset when it doesn't work right that it actually backfires and creates negative emotions in the consumer who then, knowing what product was attached to this, decides against purchasing that products or frequenting that company any longer (hey, people do all sorts of weird things).
In regards to my final testing with the rebooted iPhone 1 the verdict was, I got tired of waiting for the movie to load, even though I was connected to my home Wi-Fi (so much better than 3G) and just when I was ready to give up the video started, played 12 seconds, then again went back to the beginning and started playing without video, just audio. So as far as I'm concerned, it's lame. On my hate scale of one to ten, I give this a seven (that's a lot of hate) because it wouldn't show me more than 10 seconds of the Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders! It's like when it rebuffered, it totally forgot that it was buffering video. I did check the video with my PC to make sure it was fine, and it was.
Kung Pao! I'm out (to actually go get some Chinese take out today!).