Digital Shopping Cards

foodlion-mvp-demo

  • Problem: Carrying around shopping cards is a pain in the ass. They take up room either in your wallet, purse or keychain. They’re easy to lose.
  • Solution: Digital Shopping Cards. As long as you have a mobile device with you, you have the card(s) with you. These could be stored in a dedicated application, or simply saved as photos on the device. At checkout, you’d simply let the cashier scan the barcode on your screen.

To the right is a closer view of what I’ve mocked up what a digital shopping card for Food Lion might look like. It’s a simple idea, but one that (I think) could be very useful. When a store asks for a customer’s phone number or email address – that store could then send the digital card via MMS or email instead of giving out a physical card. This would save money since less physical cards would need to be produced. What’re your thoughts? Would you use something like this?

UPDATE: As Wes pointed out in the comments, there are several iPhone apps available that you might want to check out:

I did attempt to use my self-created card while at Food Lion this morning. And guess what? Their scanner couldn’t pick up the barcode because the screen was too reflective. It’s also possible the barcode was too small. Are digital shopping cards/rewards cards the wave of the future? Probably not (yet), but it’s definitely worth looking into.

 

Why I Still Won’t be Getting an iPhone

iphone PCWorld offered up 5 Reasons to Buy the iPhone 3G and I’m here to tell you why I won’t be buying into the hype. Before I go on, I should note that I own an 8GB iPod touch and use a Motorola E815 on the Alltel network. This article specifically addresses the points made in the PCWorld article. I recommend reading it first.

  1. Price. Yeah, the price drops on the new iPhone are nice, but the rate plans suck. 3G service will now cost folks an additional $10/month. Nevermind the fact that everyone who’s already bought an iPhone and wants to upgrade will essentially need to break their contract and pay a penalty to get the latest and greatest. Oh, and did I mention there’s a two-year contract?
  2. 3G Browsing Speed. Yes, 3G is faster than what the first-generation iPhone is capable of, but I’d imagine that for most people, the load times are tolerable. Also, the switch to 3G comes at a cost: According to reports, iPhone activation will now need to happen in-store.
  3. Great International Support. Seriously? The only reason for this “push” is because iPhones are being unlocked everywhere.
  4. Applications Galore. All of which can be had on the first-generation iPhone and iPod touch (for a $9.95 fee). The App Store is going to be a great thing for Apple mobile users, but it’s not something you HAVE to upgrade to 3G (or ditch your iPod touch) for.
  5. iPhone: Still at the head of the Class. The iPhone is not the best phone out there. It still can’t record video. It can’t handle MMS. It promises the “real” web, but ignores popular plugins such as Flash which are a part of the “real” web and aren’t going away.

Where the iPhone gets things right is that it puts things together in a nice, user-friendly package, but nothing about it is truly groundbreaking. Upcoming smartphones, such as the Blackberry Thunder, Samsung Instinct or Omnia, or the HTC Touch Diamond will do more, offer greater expansion capabilities, better quality camera optics and much, much more.

I love Apple products but there just isn’t enough of a difference in the new iPhone to make me run out and buy it on July 11.

iPhone owners to get $100 credit

Fact: Early adopters always pay too much for new technology. Yesterday’s announcement that the iPhone would be receiving a $200 price drop created a pretty strong backlash. Enough so that an Open Letter to iPhone Owners from Steve Jobs was posted to the Apple website today. Long story short, if you bought an iPhone anytime in the past two months, you’re entitled to a $100 Apple Store or Apple Online Store credit for use towards any Apple products. Sure, it’s not the $200 extra you paid on the iPhone, but heck… it’s a down payment on one of the new iPod nano’s you’ve been drooling over since yesterday.

Cisco and Apple Settle

So, the Apple v. Cisco showdown has finally been resolved. Hallelujah.

AppleInsiderCisco and Apple settle iPhone trademark dispute

Cisco and Apple said Wednesday that they have resolved their dispute involving the “iPhone” trademark.

Why do I get the impression that this is far from over? Sure, they’ve declared a cease-fire… but what’s going to stop Cisco from firing back when/if the iPhone becomes incredibly popular? Cash… hard cold cash. And stacks and stacks of it. Oh yeah…

Under the agreement, both companies are free to use the “iPhone” trademark on their products throughout the world.

This dillutes the iPhone brand for both sides. Sure, Apple will probably promote their iPhone as the “Apple iPhone”. And most people (I hope) are going to be able to tell the difference between a VOIP phone and a cellphone. But is the market big enough for two iPhone products? Only time will tell.

Both companies acknowledge the trademark ownership rights that have been granted, and each side will dismiss any pending actions regarding the trademark.

Translation: “Apple gave us enough cash to have amnesia. We’re BFFs now! Wait, what were we talking about?” – Cisco

In addition, Cisco and Apple will explore opportunities for interoperability in the areas of security, and consumer and enterprise communications.

Other terms of the agreement remained confidential.

Sounds like Cisco got what it wanted… plus, loads of cash. What did Apple get out of it? A monkey off of it’s back, and freedom to continue using a name essentially thrust upon them by the public and media. Don’t get me wrong, I like ‘iPhone’… but it’s very vanilla… People were going to lynch Steve if he didn’t deliver the goods.