Stickybits App: A case study
The brief was simple, find a way to allow everyday objects tell a story. Billy Chasen and Seth Goldstein, the founders of Stickybits, wanted to create a space where people could communicate with each other and share information through everyday things they interact with, the things that aren’t connected to the network.
To accomplish that, they needed to figure out how to attach digital content to physical objects. The biggest challenge was how to connect the two. RFID allows you to attach electronic tags to objects, but isn’t widespread.Smartphones and bar codes turned out to be the solution. Smartphones are almost ubiquitous, and every smartphone has a camera.
Stickybits uses that camera to scan UPCs found on millions of everyday objects. The App was generated for both iPhone and Android devices and allows anyone to create their code and attach it to any object they want to. Once the object is scanned you can read the information left there by others- photos, videos, text and audio messages. You can also add your message. For example, scan a book and leave a review, scan a cereal box and attach a treats recipe, or scan a wine bottle and leave a tip for the best food to pair with it.In December 2010 promotions were added to Stickybits, allowing brands to attach deals and discounts to products, creating a solution to how this platform could be monetised.
Some of their launch partners included: Ben & Jerry’s, Elmer’s Glue, Fiji Water and Pepsi.The Stickybits platform has been warmly received by users who continue to come up with creative ways to use it; people attaching barcodes to their business cards that, on the scan, reveal their resume, for example.
The San Diego Zoo placed bar codes at reptile exhibits and connected digital information to the codes to help visitors learn more about the animals.
London Gatwick airport printed giant bar codes on walls that, on the scan, revealing videos that show the progress of construction going on behind them.
One man in Colorado even proposed to his girlfriend using Stickybits. He sent her on a scavenger hunt placing Stickybits bar codes stickers all over the city, each with a message about where to go next, at the final meeting place he met her with a ring.
On the brand side, business continues to grow as more brands seek out ways they can communicate with their customers through Stickybits. The promotions have been successful as users are surprised and delighted when they scan an object and win a reward.
On November 17, Stickybits ran a promotion for a free $10 iTunes gift card to the first 1,000 people that scanned an Altoids tin. In a matter of hours, all cards were given away. There were thousands of scans, hundreds of posts, tweets, and shared links.
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