Market Leaders in the Making
Defining the dot
FindtheDOT's symbol, unlike some of their competitors' bar code or watermarked images, is smaller than the average pinkie nail. The developer plans to license these graphical "Power Dots" to publishers, advertisers, retailers and corporations—virtually any entity that relies on print for marketing, advertising or disseminating information. Many of these companies will choose to provide the Personal Information Assistants (PIA) to their customers free of charge. FindtheDOT will also sell them at www.findthedot.com for $39.00. The PIA reading devices emit a low-power radio frequency to communicate with the user's workstation. It stores up to 100 Power Dot prompts and transmits them as soon as the user comes to within 30 feet of its related workstation.
Human behavior is hard change; Rubin and his colleagues understood this basic principle before designing findtheDOT. "What do people do when they want to indicate that they want something? They point to it," Rubin explains. "That's been the problem with other methods, because there is a perceived orientation. You have to know to scan something in a certain direction, but there's no orientation with a dot that's round."
FindtheDOT says their model has a technological advantage over its competitors: They don't require consumers to have special scanners or cameras that read watermarks and other codes. Their reader is small—about the size of a pack of gum—and is portable, because it does not require that it be tethered to a CPU.
The symbol it reads is round, and thus has no orientation restrictions, such as reading a bar code left to right. The reader is simply tapped on the dot image, and within seconds, the user receives a personalized e-mail directly from the maker or distributor of a product. FindtheDOT says that its goal is to have 100-percent first-time reads.
From a design and print production perspective, the Power Dot is less threatening than other digital convergence technologies. It's small, so logically, it should easily fit into advertisements without disrupting aesthetics. It's accessible, available in EPS (Encapsulated PostScript) or Adobe PDF (Portable Document Format), which can be placed in Adobe Illustrator, QuarkXPress, FrameMaker, InDesign and PageMaker documents. A publisher or ad agency, for example, can place the dots after registering them and downloading them directly from findtheDOT.