Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Grabbing tv phone-numbers

Boosting tv phone-in sales
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(+4, -1)
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TV shopping is a whole lot simpler than internet shopping. It will be so for a long time yet, especially if advertisers make phoning in an order easier to do.

Quite often I think “Yeah I wouldn't mind having one of those.” But even if the number remains on the bottom of the screen throughout the ad, I still lose it.

I can never find pen and paper anyway, and I forget the number in the flood of screen impressions that follow. Billions of sales must be lost because of this.

Here’s my halfbaked remedy. A free-on-request minicam that grsbs a pic of the screen when you button its remote. At your leisure you play back to evaluate your impulses.

Not long ago such an idea would have been a joke, but the technology is all round now and my NumberGrabber might already be well-baked - though I’ve searched.

Mounting the minicam unobtrusively will be a problem. Any ideas? Unless of course you say : why give the tv advertisers even more power than they’ve already got?

rayfo, Sep 25 2000

Video OCR at CMU http://www.cs.cmu.e...el/MISRM/sld016.htm
Folks at CMU have been working on optical character recognition (OCR) of text from video. No need to get a screenshot: if your box is sufficiently smart, it can automatically detect and recognize phone numbers (and urls) and make them the equivalent of hyperlinks. Press the "dial" button on your remote and bob's your uncle. [rmutt, Sep 25 2000, last modified Oct 04 2004]

Academic paper descibing the above research. http://www.ri.cmu.edu/pubs/pub_2723.html
[rmutt, Sep 25 2000, last modified Oct 04 2004]

CutCat <shudder> http://www.crq.com/
A horrible, awful, buggy, spyware-ridden technology that lets one buy instantly from any TV or magazine ad with their "Cues" in it. Dot com. [jester, Sep 25 2000, last modified Oct 04 2004]

software, called CueJack http://theneteconom...26a%253D8473,00.asp
RTMark, an organization that offers bounties for "acts of creative subversion against mass-produced items," is now offering free software that turns CueCat against its corporate masters. [LoriZ, Dec 17 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]


       You are a genius. How about a 'save screen' button? ...technology...memory chip
Tip of the day: Delete your idea and get to work on it, You COULD make a fortune. LOL
thumbwax, Sep 25 2000

       Yeah, there's really no excuse not to have a nice, big "save screen shot" button on your TV remote. Good idea.
centauri, Sep 25 2000

       Thanks for the response/s. Most of my many ideas get overtaken by better ways of doing the same thing as in this case. Though a screen-saver button on your tv remote would involve integrated redesign of tv's plus remotes wouldn't it? My lack of tech-knowledge both hinders and helps. As for making money by inventing, buying a lottery ticket gives you better odds. I've made $2000 only, since I "invented" the siphon in a sandpit, aged 5, thus launching my 79 years as a happy generator of "almost useless" ideas.
rayfo, Sep 25 2000

       Get a TiVo (www.tivo.com) it can do this and much more.
offsky, Sep 26 2000

       Thanks offsky I hadn't heard of TiVo. It's a very clever low-cost combination of, and exploitation of, the unused potential in some existing technologies. Moreover its on-line marketing is about the best I've ever seen. However I live outside the U.S. as do a few billion others, and the crude one-function quick and dirty camera solution might be worth prototyping. On the other hand TiVo may soon be available outside the U.S.
rayfo, Sep 26 2000

       CueCat <shudder> is trying to do the same thing: make it easier to buy things <shudder> from commercials <shudder>. (See link)
jester, Oct 04 2001

       This is fun, just 'cause it's 11yrs old. QRcodes were already deployed in Japan at the time of this post if I'm not mistaken, so I feel justified in suggesting that is the easier solution. Strangely they are just catching on in North America these days (2011).   

       I particularly like the little line from rayfo "I hadn't heard of TiVo."   

       Ah, the old days.
rossgk, Jun 10 2011


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