Tickets get a hi-tech makeover

There doesn’t seem to be any limit to what you can do with technology apart, that is, from your imagination.
A South African company called mobicode is now offering concert promoters and other organisations the opportunity of selling tickets and vouchers via cellphone. There’s a whole lot more to the technology and you get the feeling that mobicode, itself, is still thinking of new things to do with it.
How it will work is when Sipho Public decides that he wants to take his friends to a concert that evening but, instead of popping along to the ticket office and standing in queue for hours, he gets the promoters’ number off of a concert poster and sends them an SMS.
The message says something like ‘four tickets please’ and, once the promoters have deducted the money from his bank account, they send him a bar code in whatever format his cellphone will accept.
All he then has to do is pitch up at the gig with the barcode displayed on the screen of his mobile. The doormen scan the barcode with an ordinary barcode scanner and their computer tells them that Sipho can come in and bring three friends with him.
The organisers could have offered concert-goers the opportunity of paying a bit extra to get free drinks, a programme, or a cap with the band’s logo on it. The same barcode that admitted Sipho and his friends could also serve to identify them to the staff at the bar and the souvenir stand.
mobicode has apparently licenced the technology from UK firm Mobiqa who hold South African Patent 2005/03057 for ‘Optimised Messages containing Barcode Information for Mobile Receiving Device’.
The technology was first used for a concert in the UK in June to sell tickets for a Guns n Roses show. It was also used to sell tickets for the Red Bull Rail Storm international urban rail snowboarding (whatever that might be) competition in London.
In South Africa, guests were admitted to the recent FHM Sexiest Women in the World 2006 party via barcodes on their cellphones. In the interests of research, I visited the FHM site (http://www.fhmsa.co.za/) and noticed that Durban-born girl, Carla la Reserveé, had won the competition.
Corblimey Charlie! I had no idea that such a person even existed but she did remind me that nature is much nicer than technology. Sighs eloquently for lost youth and six-pack.
As I’ve said, there seem to be many different things the mobicode technology can be used for, including sales promotion, special offers, and the like. Check out http://www.mobicode.co.za/ for more details
The whole mobicode thing sounds very feasible to me as long as your mobile’s battery holds out; “honest, I did have the barcode for getting into Carla’a dressing room”…

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