Among the many market verticals that stand to benefit from the recent relaunch of Alcatel-Lucent’s (News - Alert) touchatag, there is tremendous opportunity to address the entertainment and smart toys segments.
The way we consume and share media is changing, driven by advances in technology as well as an emerging generation of consumers that are more tech and media savvy than at any point in history.
touchatag is an online Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) service that enables developers and Web-savvy consumers to create innovative one-touch applications, which connect everyday objects with online applications.
There are many touchatag applications already available that target these market segments.
For example, users can leverage the touchatag solution to create custom playlists to personalize media selection and facilitate content sharing.
One popular application that lets users control their iTunes account is a music player cube made up of six tags, all applied to the sides of a cube. Users can assign controls (like play, stop, next track), music files (that you can stream over the internet) and Web radio stations to the touchatags. Since a cube has 6 sides there are 6 things your cube can tell iTunes to do by just touching the touchatag reader. The idea is that you stick the 6 tags on the sides of a cube (like an old Rubik's cube, a photo frame cube or a foam toy die).
Remember the common practice of giving someone a homespun mix-tape? Now users will be able to share a tagged cube with pre-set music and multimedia as a symbol of their affection.
Another application, called Last.fm can be called upon to open the Last.fm Web site to a specific artist or to start a music stream with similar artists. Essentially, by simply touching a tag (News - Alert) to the reader, users can tune in to their personal radio channel or launch online radio stations like Pandora or any other source of online media.
Another example would enable users to plays a video every time touch a tag to the reader. An application called Video Wheel allows users to browse through online videos on sites such as YouTube (News - Alert) and add them as different links to their video wheel. It becomes a simple task to create a movie marathon based on a specific theme, or a way for parents to approve movies or other programming for their kids to watch.
This application might be extremely beneficial to a family with young children. By embedding the tag into a child’s favorite toy, let’s use a teddy bear as an example, parents can feel comfortable with their child using the Internet. The parent can monitor what they watch and restrict access to specific sites, so when the child touches the tagged bear to a reader, he or she can launch video content (already vetted and approved by the parent) on the TV or computer.
Of course this benefits not only the child and the parent, but also the marketer who would create targeted, affinity or age-appropriate content geared to various constituents. So perhaps along with a new Little Einsteins video, maybe the marketer can co-package a RFID tag enabled stuffed animal, which the child could use to launch the Little Einsteins Web site, or watch special online-only episodes and related content. The parents can be confident that the child would not be exposed to inappropriate content and the marketer has the opportunity to promote their wares to a captive audience, who has already shown their affinity for their products.
These applications are just simple examples of the power of the touchatag solution. The variety of contactless applications that can be created are limited only by a user’s imagination. In fact touchatag has launched an online developer community where interested parties can access a full API suite enabling them to easily build and extend contactless applications. This rich applications environment was created to foster a creative place where people can build on the touchatag service and interact with other developers. touchatag application developers can easily share and promote their projects at the site as well.
Greg Galitzine is editorial director for TMC’s (News - Alert) IP Communications suite of products, including TMCnet.com. To read more of Greg’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.
Edited by Greg Galitzine