Marketers are always looking for new ways to reach customers and the ongoing boom in mobile phones has seen mobile marketing become an important part of the mix. As frequent readers know, I have spent the past few years inventing and developing just these sort of Physical World Connection technologies.

Picture%201.pngA new player, SnapTell, has emerged as a provider of image-recognition-based mobile marketing solutions, announcing the release of its "Snap.Send.Get" solution that they purports turns every camera phone into an opt-in marketing device. Snap.Send.Get enables consumers to obtain information with the snap of a photo while marketers, in the process, get to create a personalized and targeted brand conversation with their customers. The SnapTell solution works with all camera phones, using existing collateral and product packaging, thereby doing away with the need for special barcodes or additional software.

The application allows consumers to take a photo of an advertisement that they are interested in receiving more information on, such as a billboard, and then send the photo to SnapTell where it is matched against a database of images using SnapTell’s algorithm for image matching known as ASG. Once the image has been recognized SnapTell is able to send the consumer content such as ringtones, games, videos and WAP links.

According to SnapTell, the technology works effectively on photos taken with almost all camera phones including lower end phones that have VGA cameras or low resolution (640x480) cameras. The technology also works with a wide variety of subjects including magazine print ads, outdoor billboards, posters, product packaging, branded cans, bottles and logos. SnapTell technology is also able to automatically extract text embedded in camera phone images and use the extracted text to drive a search - useful in scenarios in which the target image is not already registered in the database.

“Brands are using the mobile channel more than ever now to reach their desired audience. We saw a clear opportunity to apply our innovative image-recognition technology in the mobile environment to offer marketers something that wasn’t available before,” said Gautam Bhargava, Co-founder and CEO of SnapTell. “We make it easy for brands to reach out to consumers on the go. The SnapTell Snap.Send.Get solution simply uses existing packaging or collateral materials to create a personalized marketing experience that is fun and easy-to-use for the consumer. Our goal is to unleash the power of mobile marketing using the camera phone,” added Bhargava. “We believe that the mass adoption of camera phones makes the camera phone the ultimate marketing device, allowing brands to have a direct connection to their consumers.”

Currently, the company is in discussions with major brands and agencies with deployment expected in the upcoming weeks.