#mwc2013 Mobeam! The Supermarket Musical

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

San Francisco-based Mobeam launched an innovative new music video at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona to showcase what will happen when the more than 165 million Point-of-Sale laser scanners in use today are capable of scanning barcoded content on a smartphone using mobeam’s technology.

Mobeam has patented technology that will revolutionize the way we all shop by enabling smartphones to be scanned by POS scanners, unlocking new potential for marketers and providing consumers the ability to seamlessly redeem coupons, gift cards and loyalty cards from their smartphone.

The music video was produced by Portal A, a San Francisco creative team that are specialists in web video. The video, ‘Mobeam! The Supermarket Musical‘ carries the message ‘There’s a new phone app scheme that makes shopping a dream – Coming Soon to Screens Everywhere’.

Currently, anything that uses a barcode, such as a coupon, loyalty card, gift card, pre-loaded payment card or event ticket usually has to be printed out or carried to be redeemed. Mobeam’s technology converts barcodes into a beam of light that can be read by every one of the estimated 165 million laser scanners in use today by retailers around the world. It uses common light sources on a smartphone to send pulses of light directly to the sensor in POS scanners, mimicking the black-and-white sequencing of a standard bar code.

Instead of reading the reflection from a printed barcode, laser scanners receive identical information from pulses of light – meaning that existing POS scanner technology and databases that are already installed worldwide won’t require any upgrades.

“We created this fun, Glee-styled music video to highlight the life-altering changes our technology will provide when the world’s smartphones are finally able to work at the point of sale with the 165 million laser scanners in use today,” says Chris Sellers, CEO of mobeam. “Right now, many people think they can go to the grocery store, show a coupon on their phone and have it scanned – which unfortunately is not the case. The vast majority of in-store laser scanners cannot scan barcodes displayed on mobile phone screens. Through this video, we are saying, there IS a way, we’ve developed it and it’s called mobeam.”

More than 500 million people around the world are expected to receive mobile coupons this year, a 30% increase from 2012. Additionally, Juniper Research found that for 2013, the number of coupons accessed and redeemed by mobile is forecasted to come in around 10 billion discounts in total, representing a more than 50% increase from last year.

“This is definitely the most ambitious video we have done and we are honored that mobeam has chosen to launch it internationally at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona,” says Zach Blume, managing director and co-founder of Portal A. “We love working with the most innovative companies around and we think mobeam’s technology is going to be a game-changer that revolutionizes the mobile industry, ignites mobile commerce and changes the way we think about our wallet.”

In the past year, mobeam has partnered with Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola and General Mills – three of the world’s largest consumer packaged goods companies, in a joint effort to create the first-ever completely mobile couponing system. This initiative, along with other partnerships mobeam has established with companies like ProLogic, brings consumers one-step closer to phasing out paper coupons entirely.

While the technology has not been released on a handset yet, Mobeam is currently in confidential negotiations with several prominent manufacturers to bring mobeam to mobile devices around the world.

The music video was released in conjunction with a social media campaign and contest on Facebook and Twitter that gives a free mobeam t-shirt to the first 1,000 people that share the video on Facebook.

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