CNN launches one-snap mobile app in Asia

Asian phones will be first to benefit from image recognition software
Asian phones will be first to benefit from image recognition software

Too busy - or ham-fisted - to use your phone's numberpad for entering long URLs?

CNN International has just partnered with MyClick to let phone users in Asia link straight to its websites simply by photographing its logo.

The MyClick image recognition software (a free download from works with your mobile's built-in camera to spot CNN's logo in magazines, leaflets, billboards or even grabbed from a TV screen.

It then automatically links through to CNN's free mobile news portal, using your choice of access point.

Oriental orientation

The software works on a wide range of GPRS and 3G-WAP-enabled mobile devices and PDA smartphones, and is initially available in 13 Asia countries including Hong Kong, India and China.

CNN Vice President Ringo Chan said: "We want to seamlessly connect users to so they can stay informed about the world around them. It is about engaging users in a unique experience anytime and anywhere."

Well, anywhere they can see a CNN logo and anytime it's not too dark for dodgy phone cameras to work, at least.

The technology is impressive but it's hard to imagine many people downloading and using an application for a single website. If MyClick can get itself working with logos from good selection of top brands - Google, Microsoft, Apple, BBC, eBay and Amazon, say - it might just be on to a winner.

Mark Harris is Senior Research Director at Gartner.