AT&T Wants To Turn Your Cell Phone Into A Coupon Reader

AT&T is supporting a mobile marketing technique that’s popular abroad, but has yet to catch on here: Ads that can be read by cell phone cameras. The idea: Users point their phone at an ad, coupon, or some other enticement, and get something cool or valuable back in return. MediaPost says AT&T has “quietly” agreed to support a system designed by Lexington, Mass.-based Mobot, and that Verizon and T-Mobile are expected to follow suit.

This is fantasy fullfillment for marketers. It’s also key to Google’s hope to get into the print-advertising market. Google talked up just such a system at a recent NY Advertising Club Meetup: print ads placed by Google would have a barcode that can be read by a camera phone. Responses would tie into Google’s analytics tools, so advertisers get some sense of who is responding to a print ad. Mobot’s technology allows it to recognise all kinds of stored images, such as logos, pictures, etc, not just barcodes.

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