SPH NewMedia to distribute ZapCode in Singapore - Jan 27, 2007 (BT)

BackJan 27, 2007

The Straits Times / The Business Times News On SPH

SPH NewMedia to distribute ZapCode in Singapore

By Wee Li-En
Jan 27, 2007
The Business Times

(SINGAPORE) Zap a code to get the information you need instantly on your mobile phone - that is the new technology which a venture between Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) and ColorZip SEA (CZSEA) promises to bring.

ZapCode is a new technology which allows users to simply point the cameras on their mobile phones at a ZapCode icon and click. When installed on a mobile phone or PDA, the software reads and deciphers the ZapCode and triggers the sending of data back to the mobile device.

Towards a new technology: At the signing of the agreement for ZapCode yesterday were (from left) John Moore, chief executive officer of CZSEA; William Tan, advertisement sales director, SPH, and general manager, SPH NewMedia; and Michael Chin, executive vice-president, Corporate Development & Times Properties, SPH, and director, SPH NewMedia.

Yesterday, SPH NewMedia, a new subsidiary of SPH, signed an agreement with CZSEA, which holds the rights to the patented technology, to become its master distributor and licensee in Singapore.

'The marketing and communication opportunities which ZapCode opens up are mind-boggling,' SPH marketing executive vice-president Leslie Fong said.

'For example, a department store may have a ZapCode printed in an advertisement. Any reader who wants more information or pictures or even a video of other items not shown in the ad has only to zap the code and these will be transmitted within seconds to his mobile phone.

'Or a dog owner can have a ZapCode embedded in a tag around the neck of his pet so that if it strays from home, any finder of the lost animal needs only to zap the code to learn whom to contact,' Mr Fong said.

CZSEA will provide free download of the deciphering software to users' phones via SMS, wireless application protocol or the Internet. It will also work closely with telecommunication companies and mobile phone manufacturers to ensure that new models will come with the software pre-installed.

While the software is free, users will have to pay to use ZapCode at a rate which will be determined by their telcos.

SPH NewMedia will launch an intensive marketing campaign on the use of ZapCode next month.

'Our aim is to make it a part of life in high-tech Singapore. Over time, we want these codes to be everywhere, in newspapers, on T-shirts, signages, name cards, birthday cakes and so on, and zapping them will become as natural as breathing,' Mr Fong said.