Monday, November 8, 2010

It's a Bar Code World

Most of you have heard of that latest technology sensation called mobile barcodes.  Briefly, this technology, referred to as quick response (QR) codes, uses a square barcode, similar to what you find on any product in a store.

These codes, however, are designed to be photographed from your mobile phone and electronically sent to the manufacturer.  Once received, enabling the manufacturer or service to send you a quick mobile link to a message (while capturing your information as well).  While sitting on a train or walking by a building, you might see this code along with an advertisement for a movie – BAM, you could be instantly watch a movie trailer.  Or how about walking by the window of an appliance retailer and seeing an overview of the latest technology.  Unilever has launched a major campaign for their Axe deodorant brand as pictured below.

I was in Toronto last month and upon check in at the airport I was asked if I wanted my boarding pass sent to my phone.  I did, and this barcode appeared in an email and I used it to get through security. This takes us further down the paperless ecommerce loop.  Want concert tickets?  I can take a picture of the barcode I see on ad advertisement in the archaic newspaper I occasionally read, and BAM, two paperless tickets are sent to me.  Upon entering the stadium, I scan the barcode that was sent to me to gain entrance. 

The flexibility and potential of this technology is awesome.  Near term, imagine integrating this technology with food products in the store to give out nutrition information or recipe suggestions.  How about using it in the hardware store to link you information specific to finishing a project.  It would be hard to think of a place you couldn’t use it.  

The hope is to take this technology beyond advertising into real information for consumers.  Advertisers may be discouraged if we expect someone to respond to an ad just to see another ad.

I think I will try this out on my blog one day and let you know how it works.  Any interesting uses you can think of?  Let me know.

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