Mob App: Alive - From The Times Of India

For once, a technology innovation from The Times Of India that has the potential to catch the market; an application for Mobile Devices that holds tremendous promise...

Alive - From The Times Of India
Alive is, in simple terms, a mobile app that allows you to scan a logo (Alive Logo) on any image on the newspaper into your Android, or BB or iOS device... and presto! You are auto-connected to Youtube, which opens the relevant video for you. A simple - a very simple thought, but so tremendous in the possibilities it opens up. It takes newspaper reading to an entirely new high;

  • You see a news on a political bigwig on which you would like to actually hear what the person said for yourself - just scan the image - and you are taken directly to his interview. 
  • Or, you would like to see for yourself just how terrible is the snowfall that has covered Kashmir... scan the image, and see for yourself on youtube video! 
  • Or, Sachin has scored a century (he will, he will - he isnt finished yet: not by a long shot): you missed it. Just scan the image on the newspaper  - and lo and behold! watch a 3-minute clip of highlights of his shots
  • Or, The Governor of the RBI has given the Economic Times (or any newspaper once other newspapers launch this service- or something like this) and interview. You want more details... go ahead. Scan, and listen directly!
The possibilities are literally endless. You can embed detailed analysis, facts and figures and upload them on the site; a simple scan, and readers are taken directly to a more fact-filled, multimedia interface. It makes for a much richer, more fulfilling and more meaningful connect with the morning newspaper. You can embed a 5-minute discussion of top cricketers analysing India's performance - just click, and you are done! You can watch clips of specific highlights again;  there is quite literally no end to the innovative uses this promising technology can be put to. 

The more one thinks about the range of applications, the more exciting it becomes. This convergence, applied to magazines - adds a far more powerful dimension; given that Magazines are by nature more in-depth and exhaustive; the addition of a multimedia interface  raised exciting possibilities. Not only that, in an era of online readership - it gives a powerful fighting tool to the print media which can now provide greater value, and hold its own. This, combined with the more comfortable interface of a print medium, raises a set of interesting possibilities.

Yes, there are issues and caveats: content will have to be created. It will have to be uploaded, databases maintained, a seamless interface needs to be ensured; as usage increases and pressure on the systems goes up, attention will have to be given to ensure 6-sigma levels of uptime; costs will have to be factored in; customer trends as to what kind of video usage is in vogue will need to be tracked. But none of these are issues; they are more of challenges - and can be easily overcome.

It also offers a shot in the arm for the telecom trade over the long term; as data will be used; the increase in data traffic will be good news for the Telecom trade. It also indicates a further step in the inexorable process of convergence that is becoming increasingly evident, as across industries, completely diffierent and unconnected fields come together to generate additional value. This is a process that augurs well for trade as a whole

On the consumer side, it gives additional value, while giving the Print Media a tool to fight the increasing penchant of online usage and readership. It is a tool that has the potential of increasing the perceived value of the Newspaper as something more than just reams of paper; a consumer does not have to watch endless news articles to get to the topic which interests him/her. Furthermore, it gives additional value as it can include written analysis as well as video and mutlimedia tools...

But all that is still some time away. That requires content, a marketable niche, and users. For now, there are going to be videos of inerviews, news clips etc - which is also great. It is going to be interesting to see if this technology interface catches on. There is no reason it should not; given the increasing shift towards smartphones, the falling rates of data and the increasing interest of consumers in trrying out new technologies...

Alive can be downloaded from the App Market; it is available for free for Andriod version 2.2 and above; iOS version 4.3 and above; BB version 5.0 and above; and Symbian version S60 and above. You can also get it by giving a missed call to 18001023324. I used it both over a 2.5G  and 3G network, and there are no issues or lag. The experience is new, great and - to coin a colloquial word - fundoo. I found it quite invigorating. And yes - you will  need the Times Of India - at least until others find a way to offer similar services...


  1. Awesome post dude....Brilliant observations.

    Alive is going to change things. It is going to be the centre of digital marketing.

    1. Thanks a lot, friend... but why Anonymous? Anyways, thanks

  2. I agree with you, the possibilities are endless. however, this app could have been much better. I tried to list down where if fails.

  3. I agree with you, the possibilities are endless. But I did not find this app a good candidate for mention. it is badly designed and many people are complaining about issues. Read my review:

    1. Interesting review; Critical - heavily so - but interesting. Despite your critical views, I would like to point out that it is innovative and first-in-class. As of now, the software available on it is still very limited; This is as per me the real challenge. Only some interviews and spicy tit-bits as per my information. Let us hope that they improve with time. Of course, not being an avid TOI reader - I am not sure of this last bit... (lack of software)

  4. Very detailed analysis.. Haven't seen anything like in the net about the Alive app so far.


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