Bluetooth/IrDA Ad Posters

19Dec06

I was sort of puzzled about how those Bluetooth/IrDA T-Mobile advertisment posters work that we are currently seeing here in Vienna… Basically, you walk up to the poster, hold your mobile in front of a blinking sensor and, after confirming a small pop-up dialog, you receive an SMS with a download link towards ‘free’ content.

Hm… first of all, if I must download over the air, it’s not really free. My second concern: Since this darn poster sends me an SMS, it must somehow sniff out my phone number, which is slightly scary.

After some research on the Web, I finally figured out what happens underneath the hood: The technology is produced by a swedish company called Accinity. They feature the Vienna/T-Mobile campaign in their success stories. What their product does is this: AT commands (!) are used to send an outgoing SMS from my phone (hm… I guess I have to pay that one as well…). Their app server then responds with an SMS back to my phone (which, at least in theory, could be billed to my phone as well – though I don’t think that happens in the T-Mobile case).

Apart from the security risk with AT commands (they are an extremely powerful tool and allow you to almost totally remote-control any mobile), this technology just sounds like rip-off to me. Users could possibly end up paying SMS/connection fees up to three times for ‘free content’…



One Response to “Bluetooth/IrDA Ad Posters”

  1. Great blog I have some one in mind that would be interested. Thank you.


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