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Sprint, Scanbuy deal to change mobile commerce?

August 25, 2009

sprintSprint has taken a step that may change the mobile commerce landscape. The wireless carrier’s new Samsung Exclaim is going to be  preloaded with the ScanLife 2D bar code application.

This is the first time that any wireless phone nationwide has come preloaded with ScanLife. Scanbuy already expects to see the same implementation on additional handset models in the coming weeks and months.

“Preloading the application will make it easier for people to use the application, and easier for brands to execute 2D code campaigns,” said Jonathan Bulkeley, chief executive officer at Scanbuy, New York.

“Brands have been asking us for some time when the app will be preloaded, so we believe this will give them the confidence that ScanLife is a viable, long term media platform,” he said. “Today, marketers can place a ScanLife code on something like a print ad and easily get thousands of downloads and scans.”

Scanbuy claims to be the leading global provider of mobile bar code products and software as its ScanLife solution, using the camera phone as a connector between the physical and digital worlds.

Scanbuy technology has been deployed and supported by mobile carriers and handset manufacturers nationwide and in Mexico, France, Spain, Italy and Denmark.

The ScanLife application lets users scan 2D bar codes with their camera-equipped mobile phone to automatically be linked to a specific mobile Web site or other content such as mobile video.

The application also has a social networking component which lets users share content with friends and family.

Along with the ScanLife application, Sprint’s Samsung Exclaim will also be preloaded with other apps such as social networking giants Facebook and MySpace.

This implementation could also mean a shift for the mobile SMS coupon business.

“Certainly SMS will always have a place and it is the most commonly used communication tool today other than the actual phone,” Mr. Bulkeley said.

“Two-dimensional bar code technology will offer some significant advantages, but it will take some time to develop,” he said. “Preloading an application into the phone is the best way to make it take off in the long term.”

For marketers, this means a quick link between physical products and a mobile Web site or content that can result in boosted brand awareness and inspire purchases through discount offers.

Media providers and individuals alike can create 2D bar codes to place on business cards and link to contact information or send out viral content from a barcode on a magazine ad.

Bar code scanning negates the usual hassle of typing in Web addresses and even the simpler task searching for content by keyword.

The ScanLife application for Samsung Exclaim will read compatibly with EZcodes and Datamatrix which are both generated from the ScanLife Code Management Platform at

“The mobile device offers different things to different people,” Mr. Bulkeley said. “We see this even in the context of 2D codes where some people scan to get a bus schedule, and others scan to get a coupon. 

“The bottom line is that this device is always on, and the way it is used is bound to evolve exponentially over the next few years,” he said. “Now we just need some really innovative campaigns to get people engaged – it should be very exciting.”

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Jordan Crook is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach her at

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