Case Studies

BBC / HP – The Coast Mobile Experience

Enjoying an enriched location-based multimedia experience by using the latest mobile phone technology (Lavasphere®).
BBC and Hewlett Packard

NeoMedia's fully owned subsidiary, Gavitec AG – mobile digit,  worked together with Hewlett-Packard and BBC on the project “Coast Mobile Experience”, a series of mobile phone walks created to accompany the BBC's successful “Coast” TV documentary series and offer visitors the exciting opportunity to call up location-specific audio and WAP content from the show by using their mobile phones (LBS).

  • Make the “Coast” TV documentary series interactive
  • Provide visitors with location-specific audio and WAP content from the show by mobile phone
  • Provide an enriched multimedia experience
  • Leverage the mobile barcode scanning technology

“Coast” is a BBC TWO TV series telling the story of the coastlines of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The series comes along with 39 interactive coastal walks - including twelve to be followed with a mobile phone. At each walk point, there is a BBC Coast sign with instructions for the public to obtain BBC content on their mobile phones, including audio, images, text, facts and dramas about the location where they are standing, directions to help get to the next walk point, and a 2d code (Data Matrix). Using the BBC code reader application created with Gavitec Lavasphere® technology, hikers simply point and swipe their mobile phone’s camera at the Data Matrix code on the sign, and Lavasphere® captures it. Within seconds and without the need for browsing or multiple key presses, multimedia content is shown on the mobile phone display explaining the significance of the current location and giving directions to the next tour stop.

The technology behind the BBC code reader application relies on Lavasphere® from Gavitec AG – mobile digit, barcode-reading algorithms that enable camera phones to read codes. Lavasphere® is employed to recognize the Data Matrix codes and retrieve the coastal information. The BBC code reader application has been jointly developed by Hewlett-Packard Laboratories in Bristol (UK) and Gavitec AG – mobile digit in Aachen (Germany). Lavasphere® is also in use in other public trials in the UK, namely Hewlett-Packard Laboratories’ Active Print projects in Bristol.


Coast Mobile was acknowledged on December 8, 2005 by UK’s prestigious Royal Television Society (RTS) in the categories Technology in Content Delivery and Technology in Consumer Electronics.

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