Remember the completely failed CueCat? This was a white plastic bar-code scanner shaped like a cat that was backed by some big media names (Wired, Belo, etc) back in the euphoric late 90s. You used the CueCat to read bar-codes that were printed in magazine ads, thus directing you to more info about the product on the Web. It also hooked your PC to your TV so that Channel 8 (or other media outlet) could point your browser at a selected Web page.
The CueCat was misguided on so many levels that it turned into a metaphor for the dot-com bust.
Well, don't look now, but the idea behind the CueCat is back. Coca-Cola in Germany is trying a similar technology, this time using a logo photographed by the consumer's camera phone.
Maybe the Germans know something we don't, but I doubt it.