ITPUbiquitous Mobile Computing

UbiqMob: Assignment Number 3

By Tuesday, February 15, 2005 No Comments

Describe any camera phone application. Find an example of a camera phone game, a group camera phone moblog, a UPC / barcode lookup service, etc. (Don’t be afraid to write about things that are available outside the US!). Tell us about what the product does, the user experience and what you could do to improve that experience.

Paperclick is UPC/EAN barcode reader application/website. The company claims that the application will only run on a few Nokia phones. Still Paperclick is a relatively easy system which maps barcodes to distinct information on the web. The application needs to be explained better, even after a reading or two, I still had to think about what the authors(s) were trying to describe. i think john geraci’s Grafedia or mel camero’s projects are more practical and ultimately more userful to me. it would also help to see more examples of how people are using this service to improve their lives.

(This following is quoted direct from their site:)
“How Does PaperClick Work?

The PaperClick system consists of two basic components: PaperClick Device Software and the PaperClick Resolution Service.

The PaperClick Device Software is a small program that an end user installs on his or her cell phone, Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) or personal computer. This software is responsible for helping the user’s web browser display the content associated with a machine readable identifier.

The PaperClick Resolution Service is software that runs on a server on the Internet. It manages the relationships between individual identifiers and their associated web pages. We call these relationships “mappings.” When a user reads an identifier with the device software, the server is responsible determining what web page the identifier’s owner wanted displayed and returning it to the user’s web browser.

The following diagram shows a simplified version of how PaperClick works:

The steps in the process are:

1. The PaperClick Device Software reads the identifier (a barcode in this case).
2. It creates a web address referring to the PaperClick Resolution Service, and gives this to the browser.
3. The browser uses that web address to send the request to the Resolution Service.
4. The Resolution Service takes the identifier out of the web address it receives, and looks it up in its database of mappings.
5. The database returns the web page associated with the identifier.
6. The Resolution Service returns the destination web page information to the browser.
7. The browser then contacts the correct web site to obtain the specified page.
8. The web site returns the content to the browser so that the user can see it.

All the interaction between the Device Software, the browser and the Resolution Service is completely transparent to the customer. From their point of view, it’s “click on a barcode, see a web page.””

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