February 2012
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Day February 8, 2012

[Sponsor] kooaba Shortcut: Applying OCR to smartphone photos

kooaba Shortcut is a shortcut between real life and the Internet. If you are reading something in a paper publication and would like to share it or read more of it later on a device, simply take a picture of it and instantly get connected to the digital version.

The special sauce is in using image-recognition technology. Shortcut recognizes what you’re reading. Once recognized, it’s as good as having a link to it. You can share the digital version of the physical pages via Facebook, Twitter, SMS, and email, or store them in Evernote.

I think this sounds really impressive and it solves a real job to be done that only smartphones can solve.

It works with over 1,000 newspapers and magazines worldwide. (See kooaba: kooaba Shortcut) for a list of publications.)

Shortcut also works with ads and billboards. After taking a picture of an ad, you gain access to extras such as coupons, sweepstakes, or store locators.

With Shortcut you no longer need to type links into your phone, search for information, or cut out articles – Just take a picture instead.

Shortcut is available for iPhone, Android and Windows Phone 7.


The US temporarily regains relevance for Apple's iPhone

Sprint reported its first iPhone quarter sales at 1.8 million. You may recall my analysis of Sprint’s “gamble” where I estimated that Sprint will easily sell the 31 million iPhone which they committed to buy from Apple. I had estimated that they could sell an average of 7 million units a year but perhaps conservatively they could ramp at 4, 6, 9 and 12 over the four year period rumored to be in the contract.

Given the pent-up demand I also estimated that the first quarter could reach 2 million units. They managed 1.8 and that’s a solid start. Overall the US carriers activated 13.7 million iPhones. Here are the iPhone activations by US Operator:

That’s 37% of the total market in Q4, shown in area and bar charts below: