The world of mobile is always changing. It gets difficult to keep up with all of the jargon floating around in the industry, especially if you aren’t in the thick of it.
We’ve assembled this handy glossary of the commonly used terms on our site (organized alphabetically for your browsing pleasure) and used plain english to describe them, all so I can finally explain to my grandmother what we do. Spoiler alert: there are tons of acronyms!
AR: Augmented Reality (AR) is an interactive experience where a visual overlay is introduced onto a view of the physical world. Remember the Terminator films when Arnold had a sidebar that gave him extra information about whatever he looked at? That was an example of augmented reality – and it’s not just science fiction anymore. In mobile, AR experiences can be triggered by cellphone location or by images viewed through the camera. It can deliver sound, video, photos and much more to the user. A great example of mobile-based AR is an interactive guide for museums: users can hold their phone in front of any artwork in the museum and are given additional information about that particular piece.
Digital Watermark: “Watermarking” is the process of hiding digital information in a carrier signal. A digital watermark is a kind of marker or tag secretly embedded in a noise-tolerant signal such as audio or image data. Digital watermarks are used to verify the authenticity of documents but can also be used as a mobile response activation.Face In The Hole: Face-in-the-Hole marries the camera phone with sophisticated facial recognition and image manipulation technologies to create fun, viral mobile campaigns that can be leveraged by brands. It’s the mobile version of those cardboard cutouts where you would stick your head through the hole to take a photo of yourself as a mermaid.
Geofence: A virtual radius around a real-world geographic area used to enable location based events. Brands can use geofencing to deliver coupons or special offers to customers who happen to be passing by their store.
Geotarget: Mobile marketing targeted to users in a certain location determined by GPS, phone area code, IP address, ISP details or other information. Brands can use geotargeting to target a product to those best suited to receiving it.
Image Recognition: Image recognition is a technology that allows computers to recognize particular objects within images by matching them against a database of stored object images. In the context of mobile, brands can use image recognition as a response activation. For example, they could encourage consumers to take photos of their logo to receive special offers.
MMS: Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) is a standard way to send messages that include multimedia content to and from mobile phones. MMS allows you to message others with photos, video or audio.
Mobile Optimized Site: A website that has been especially formatted to be legible on a mobile device. The site could be a static mobile site or a responsive web site. Many of the websites you view on your phone are mobile optimized but not all (Fun fact: www.google.com is, but www.apple.com is not.).
Mobile Response: A set of technologies that leverage the mobile phone to provide interactivity to static traditional media such as print, radio, TV. Mobile response technologies include SMS, MMS, QR codes, digital watermarks, NFC, AR, image recognition and more. Using mobile response, consumers can get more information about a particular product in a print ad, enter contests and sweepstakes displayed on a billboard, tweet about a show while watching a TV and much more.
Mobile Workflow: The process of detailing and executing marketing and technology programs through consumer interaction and behavior on a mobile device.
NFC: Near Field Communication (NFC) is a set of standards for devices to establish radio communication with each other by touching them together or bringing them closely together. Most forms mobile response require you to scan an image or launch an app to launch an action. With NFC, all you have to do is tap your phone against the terminal to make it work, so it’s a lot more convenient to use.
OCR: Optical Character Recognition (OCR) decodes printed type from an image into computer searchable text. Since virtually all mobile phones today have cameras, OCR can be used to extract meaningful text from photos. For example, I could take a photo of a receipt and have it automatically added to my expense report. Or take a photo of a business card and have it seamlessly added to my contact book.
Pull Messaging: One-time content delivered to a consumer’s mobile after they request it.
Purchase Validation: Purchase Validation allows customers to submit receipts for coupons, rebates, expenses and loyalty programs using just their phone. It provides an entirely mobile workflow to validate consumer purchases and other actions.
Push Messaging: A message delivered to a consumer’s mobile device without active participation by the user. Think incoming text messages, or banking and game alerts.
QR Code: A QR code is a two dimensional bar code that has information encoded within it. In a mobile context a QR code usually has a URL encoded in it, and scanning the QR code takes you to the mobile website pointed to by the URL. QR Codes are typically used in print or on billboards as a mobile response mechanism.
QR In The Cloud: QR In The Cloud allows you to scan QR codes – even if you don’t have a QR code scanning app on your phone. You simply take a photo of any QR code and send it in by messaging or email – and we send you back the decoded text,
Responsive: Responsive web design (RWD) is a design approach in which designers create one design template that automatically adjusts to any device screen size, whether it be mobile, desktop, tablet or TV. It is built on a flexible grid system.
SMS: Short Message Service (SMS) is the text messaging service component of phone, web, or mobile communication systems. Pretty much everyone today has sent or received a text message, even your grandma.
Universal Scanner: A mobile app that can support any mobile response technology including QR codes, MS Tags, Digital Watermarks, UPC barcodes and image recognition technology. With this app, you can do almost anything (at least in terms of mobile response).
YOLO: Not technically a mobile phrase, but worth including in any self-respecting glossary. You Only Live Once (YOLO) was a phrase popularized by Drake and now extremely overused by millennials. Ok. I’ll admit, I’m guilty of this too. YOLO.