A hardlink (one word) is one of several methods of object hyperlinking including graphical tags (2D barcodes), SMS tags and RFID tags. The hardlink method establishes a reference link between a physical world object and a .mobi web page just as a traditional hyperlink establishes an electronic reference to information on a Web page. A common cell phone is the medium of this information exchange that is initiated whenever a user makes a connection with a hardlink database, such as Objecs.mobi, and enters some alphanumeric sequence found on the target object. This alphanumeric sequence may be the objects part number or common name. This concept is also known as 'physical world connection', Object hyperlinking and Physical world hyperlink, or simply phylink, with a number of companies developing, what are currently, non-standardized methods of creating this connection. This topic is not to be confused with, a hard link (two words) which is Unix terminology for a pointer to physical data on a storage volume.
The hardlink method does not require a graphical object tag or any special software be loaded on the users cell phone, but does require the phone be internet enabled.
The consumer use and market for object hyperlinking methods is a very small and limited one in the U.S. with a slightly larger audience of users in some eastern countries. Unlike Japan, few US cell phone providers currently offer graphical tag readers or other support for object hyperlinking methods and this will likely continue until a clear linking method becomes dominant.
- Vascellaro, Jessica E (May 24, 2006). "The Bar Code Gets a Hip New Life". The Wall Street Journal.