On Digimarc’s MediaBridge: Skip it. It sucks.

So I’m beta testing Digimarc‘s new
software. They sent me a little 3Com camera and everything. The good news? Free
camera. The bad news? MediaBridge is totally lame. The idea is that you hook this
camera up to your USB port and put it on your monitor. Then, when you see an ad in
a magazine and you want more information, you just hold it up to the camera and your
system magically takes you there. But it doesn’t exactly work like there. First,
I have to run the Digimarc MediaBridge software and make sure that the camera’s focus
ring is set so that it sees things about 6″ away. (Not what you’d generally keep
your camera set to.) Then, as per their instructions, I slowly move the ad closer and
father from the camera until the software gets a lock. Then, it opens up IE5 (it doesn’t
check to see if I’m actually running Mozilla or iCab or Netscape, it just loads IE5)
and shows me the page. The whole process takes about 30 seconds. This is theoretically
simpler than, for example, typing "ey" or
"advogato into my browser. (Browsers don’t
need a TLD or a "www" these days, after all.) Anyhow, that’s the software.
Skip it and just keep on, in the words of Popular Mechanics, "scribbling
lengthy URLs on scraps of paper" and "hunting or pecking at the keyboard."
I feel that’s better than tearing a page out of a magazine and slowing waving it at
my monitor. Don’t you?

Published by Waldo Jaquith

Waldo Jaquith (JAKE-with) is an open government technologist who lives near Char­lottes­­ville, VA, USA. more »