Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
I heartily endorse this product and/or service.

idea: add, search, annotate, link, view, overview, recent, by name, random

meta: news, help, about, links, report a problem

account: browse anonymously, or get an account and write.



IR business card

infrared business card beamed through shop-window
  [vote for,

While walking through Paris yesterday morning I came across an interesting shop (selling material to be creative with). I wanted to remember this so I asked for a business card. They didn't have any. Knowing myself, I would loose the card anyway.

But I did carry my Palm and my Nokia phone with me. Wouldn't it be great if their shopwindow would have a button that would beam their business-card to my PDA or phone?

A device that does this should be easy and cheap to make. Any shop could attach this to the inside of their shop-window, like you would see Garfields on rear-car windows in the nineties. Without going into the shop you can get their coordinates (after closing time for example).

Perhaps install the device also in delivery vans and pizza-delivery mopeds. Could it be functional not only on parked ones but also when driving alongside one?

rrr, Aug 20 2000

flashier flashing shoes http://www.halfbake..._20flashing_20shoes
Same basic principle for teen vanity market? [jutta, Aug 20 2000]

(?) POPspot Wireless http://www.popspotwireless.com/
Toasty, toasty! [wiml, Aug 20 2000, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Brochure / Billboard maker for Palms http://www.pocketgram.com/
Another Pricey Software creation tool [thumbwax, Aug 20 2000, last modified Oct 21 2004]

(?) it exists! http://www.wideray.com/product/index.htm
WideRay caching server for any mobile device [rrr, Jul 25 2002, last modified Oct 21 2004]


       No reason why not, if you make the LEDs a little more powerful. A rather neat idea, I think.
StarChaser, Aug 20 2000

       Alternatively, use a cell phone that knows its location (via GPS or traingulation from base stations) and a geographically indexed directory (a phone book with street addresses will do). This is already practically baked; even today, you could carry a GPS and just press the "waypoint" button when you're near a store.   

       For direct beaming (as opposed to indirect lookup), Bluetooth is a lot more likely than IR.
egnor, Aug 20 2000

       Egnor, the point is not to do a lookup of the geographically nearest store. That's baked for decades. Just the ZIP-code and the yellow pages will do. It's about the (carefully selected) input for your address book in your PDA/phone.
rrr, Aug 20 2000

       What do you want to do, then, that "the ZIP-code and the yellow pages" won't let you? Your scenario made it sound like your biggest concern was remembering that you'd seen the store (and keeping track of its name) in the first place.   

       "Business card" information like contact information, store hours and the like are best kept online on a Web site, anyway. You just need enough data to find that Web site, and a simple location reminder ought to suffice.
egnor, Aug 20 2000

       Egnor, it's about remembering the store after having seen it, physically. You see it, visit it, you like it, and decide to keep the address for future use. I fully agree with you that all the info are best kept (up to date) on a website. The only thing that the device does is beam it to your (artificial) memory so that you won't have to type or write it. Just pointing your PDA or phone at something and pushing 'ir receive' is easier than any other method to get the info in your 'system'.
rrr, Aug 22 2000

       Also a way for the store to offer e-coupons redeemable at the store's web site, to encourage business from those who come by when the store is closed. This application would be especially useful in Paris, where the 35 hour work week is threatened by demand for longer store hours.
beauxeault, Aug 22 2000

       RRR: I still claim that just pressing "remember this location" on your phone is easier still, and doesn't require the store to install anything. You can look up the location later (and find the store's Web site, and...).
egnor, Aug 23 2000

       I agree with egnor in that a "remember location" button could be nice. Many times I've wondered where in the heck a store I passed by is. BUT I also agree with rrr because a business card can contain more than just location info, especially in this case. E-coupons were a great idea. A list of items sold by company and current stock would be helpful. It'd be great if I could know if Circuit City had Playstation2's in stock just by driving by their parking lot! Or in a mall I could surf the stores by simply walking down the halls with my Visor! Walk by the stores, if they have something you want/need go in and get it, otherwise keep walking... Stores could display specials on your handheld to entice you to walk in anyway...
sh4linux, Dec 21 2000

       This may not be relevant, but one of my suppliers has no doorbell on their frontdoor. Instead they have a telephone mounted to the wall. When you lift the receiver, it rings them. If they are out, you go through to their voicemail, like any regular phone call would....simple....and it timestamps when you were there too. They can then (if they so desire) match that timestamp to the CCTV etc etc.
ickledinkle, Jan 09 2001

       The great benefit of egnor's 'remember location' button is that it works always, also if the store doesn't cooperate. And not only with stores it will work, but also with for example a spot in nature for a picknick. Once you have the location with coordinates (GPS or triangulation of cellular base stations) in your handheld, the rest of the information about this spot can be found automatically. Software should translate the location into a ZIP code, name of shops there, the website it might have, etc. Anyone with some knowledge of the Palm OS and triangulation could write this for my VisorPhone... Please, anyone? Is there a Palm OS developers forum I can cross-post this idea to?
rrr, Aug 25 2001

       How about an IR or wireless data port near the entrance of the business which would allow you to connect their website?   

       Then you could browse the company's product(s), perhaps place an order and have it delivered.   

       You could also bookmark the website which should already have contact information.
phoenix, Aug 25 2001

       Baked, almost exactly as specified: see link. (Spendy, though.)
wiml, Aug 26 2001

       Spendy doesn't begin to describe the pricing of popspot - owners of perhaps the most hideous technoproduct page.
thumbwax, Aug 26 2001

       Good idea- but you can't stop a net from growing once communication starts. At some stage (if IR is 2-way)your virtual agent would continue shopping for you. Your interest in a store, or it's products, might lead to stores competing for your dollar- perhaps with an alert on your PDA when the item is in stock and local.   

       It becomes a cousin of the internet, except involving IR and feet.   

       For the simple stuff- you'd just need the barcode for the business card and a barcode reader on the PDA. 2-D barcodes are nice. Then the store can just print new stuff when needed and does not need to maintain an IR transmitter.
magnesium man, Aug 27 2001

       [wiml] That sure is close. And expensive. And you don't own it. And the data appears to be relatively static.
phoenix, Aug 28 2001

       egnor: Yeah, but lots more PDAs can do IR reception than are Bluetooth-enabled. So I like this idea as it stands. Plus you can get IR amplifiers from smarthome.com (they call it a BLAST emitter: http://www.smarthome.com/8174.html).
hawkins, Apr 03 2002

       You don't even need IRDA.   

       "FOR CONTACT DETAILS - SMS TO 555-5555"   

       The SMS server automatically sends back a GSM format business card or a SMS with all those details.
FloridaManatee, Aug 26 2003


back: main index

business  computer  culture  fashion  food  halfbakery  home  other  product  public  science  sport  vehicle