March 31, 2008

Case Western Reserve University to highlight international wireless conference as first in country to use 2d code cell phone technology


Case Western Reserve University will be the epitome of innovation as its first-ever U.S. trials involving new 2D code cell phone technology highlight an international conference of the wireless telecommunications industry April 1-4 in Las Vegas.

Sponsored by CTIA-The Wireless Association—an international, nonprofit organization representing service providers, manufacturers, wireless data and Internet companies—the CTIA Wireless annual trade show is the premier event representing the world's $500 billion wireless industry. Case Western Reserve and 2D codes are expected to be one of the main attractions this year.

Popular in Asian and European countries, 2D code "scanning" provides mobile device users with the opportunity to immediately interact with information over the Web using the cameras in their cell phones.

After downloading special software to their mobile devices, students at Case Western Reserve have been taking pictures of—or scanning—these two-dimensional barcodes, which can be placed on any flat surface from clothing to billboards. Instead of revealing the price of an item like traditional barcodes, these printed symbols link directly to mobile content in the form of news articles, pictures, music, videos and other interactive media.

"We are excited for our students to participate in this revolutionary campaign. They not only get to learn about this new, groundbreaking technology in the classroom but also engage in the experience all over campus," said Lev Gonick, Case Western Reserve's vice president of information technology services.

The university started using the 2D codes as part of an experience-based learning project in its Master's of Engineering Management program. The curriculum includes a two-semester course on product design, and collaborative ventures with private industry are a routine part of the class. One of the projects for the course this year is the 2D code pilot program, sponsored by Mobile Discovery.

In addition to reading the codes, Mobile Discovery's software provides students with a Web portal for building and managing their own cross-carrier 2D code mobile messages.

As part of their infusion through campus, the codes were first introduced last fall as part of a campus scavenger hunt for new student orientation. The codes also are being used as a means for students to track campus shuttle buses, take class quizzes in real-time and make reservations or get event details about social functions. The university's student newspaper, The Observer, is utilizing the codes to add digital content, including advertising, to its weekly print edition.

"Case Western Reserve is dedicated to innovation and has a unique mix of science and arts programs, making it the ideal community in the United States for this trial," said Founder and CEO of Mobile Discovery, Inc. David Miller. "And QVC is widely known for its entrepreneurial spirit and dedication to its hallmark traits—quality, value and convenience. This new mobile technology promises to change the way we live our lives and seek information. That said, we couldn't think of better partners to help demonstrate this new technology's capabilities."

In addition to already incorporating the innovative technology in educational programs, the university will be the site of the QVC-sponsored "The Q Code: Make It or Break It" campaign March 31 through April 21.

The new QVC "The Q Code: Make It or Break It" campaign on campus includes a two-pronged sweepstakes. Students can "make it" by creating their own codes and campaigns, using the Mobile Discovery technology, and encouraging others to scan to enter to win daily prizes, ranging from high-end electronics to brand-name beauty products and designer jewelry. Students "break it" by scanning specific codes themselves to enter to win, including a grand prize 40-inch HDTV.

For more information contact Jason Tirotta, 216.368.6890.

Posted by: Heidi Cool, March 31, 2008 02:02 PM | News Topics: Case School of Engineering, Collaborations/Partnerships, HeadlinesMain, Technology, features

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