Pages

Showing posts with label Apps Barcodes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Apps Barcodes. Show all posts

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

QR Codes in Newspaper Ads to redirect mobiles to web content



Canada's National Post newspaper began using two-dimensional (2D) bar codes this week to link newspaper articles to video and other content.

The link from paper to the Web is made possible through a free downloadable mobile app for smartphones from Scanbuy, N.Y. Directions on nationalpost.com point visitors to getscanlife.com. When the camera on the phone takes a picture of the bar code, the application reads the embedded information in the code and triggers a Web browser to open, which searches the Internet for the URL and serves up the page on the phone.

National Post hopes to offer advertisers a print ad service that gives consumers options to discover more information about products and services on the Web, according to Scanbuy CEO Jonathan Bulkeley. He noted that Canwest Publishing is the largest media company in Canada.
The deal adds to the hundreds of thousands of people that have already downloaded software from Scanbuy's Web site during the last six months. "We're supporting hundreds of scans per day in the United States," Bulkeley said, suggesting that people can go to the site, create a 2D bar code and download it for free. "The codes are put on t-shirts and other marketing items to promote brands."


In the past few months, Scanbuy has signed deals with telecom carriers such as Alltel, before being acquired by Verizon, and Sprint, which will soon begin to ship handsets with the 2D bar code readers preloaded on phones. Today, the software is available to download on 45 phones. Nike ran a soccer promotion in Mexico, as did Fanta in Denmark and Scandinavia using 2D codes, Bulkeley said.

Bulkeley said he has been considering getting a 2D bar code tattoo to have something readily available that can demonstrate the technology. "You could have one code and continually change the link behind it to pull down different content," he said. "It's like redirecting a URL."

Watch the Video here:



Wednesday, 18 March 2009

QR Codes expected to become big in the US

Quick-response (QR) codes are well-entrenched in Japan, where consumers routinely use their cellphones to check e-mail, download movie trailers, navigate Tokyo's labyrinthine streets, pay water bills, buy Cokes from high-tech vending machines, download e-coupons and even have their fortunes told.

They also use their phones to scan QR codes on magazine and outdoor ads. The digital codes are read by the phones' cameras and redirect them to designated mobile sites.

Northwest Airlines, for instance, has used QR codes on large outdoor posters in high-traffic areas in downtown Tokyo to send e-certificates for travel deals and award frequent-flyer bonus miles through its WorldPerks program. The campaign was created by Mindshare's Tokyo office.

Nestle used the technology to launch a canned drink called Nescafe Shake. A QR code on promotional materials led cellphone users to a mobile site where they could download two 15-minute films created by WPP's JWT, Tokyo. Users could also download the films' original music as songs or ringtones.

QR codes have moved beyond Japan into other Asian markets, including China. The latest generation of QR technology lets marketers and retailers fine-tune their messages, making the experience more personal.

The codes have improved, too. A Hong Kong-based company called MyClick Media has pioneered image-recognition mobile marketing in North Asia. Instead of photographing bar codes, users click on logos, objects and images selected by marketers. The photos grant users one-click access to mobile-based internet content, services, rewards and gifts via e-mail, text and multimedia messaging service.

Since the technology is limited to high-end phones and requires a software download, MyClick hasn't been a success for mass-market campaigns. But marketers such as Coca-Cola and Adidas have scored points with consumers in smaller promotions such as sporting events. China Mobile used MyClick to encourage subscribers to share good wishes for athletes during the Olympic Games last year in Beijing.

Not long back, I blogged about Bar Coded train tickets on mobiles. They now seem to be catching on in USA as well.

When Peter Shipman, a franchise owner of the Qdoba casual Mexican restaurant chain, was launching his third outlet in the college town of Ann Arbor, Mich., he needed a way to draw students to the new location -- and he wanted to speak their technological parlance. So he bought ads in the campus newspaper and posted promotional posters, each with a code kids could scan with their phones to get a mobile coupon for a buy-one-get-one-free burrito.

The campaign, which ran on technology from a company called Jagtag, netted a 52% redemption rate with about 400 scans* , roughly 1% of the total target student population.

For Qdoba, it was a digital version of clipping coupons. But these codes -- known as 2-D barcodes, since they're scanned both horizontally and vertically -- can also deliver product reviews, video demos or any other tool a marketer has in its digital arsenal. They can also help marketers track static ads and product performance in retail channels: Did the print ad get more scans in the men's lifestyle glossy or the outdoor-enthusiast magazine?

Qdoba joins small but growing group of marketers warming to the long-promised technology. In fact, among three vendors working to make this a reality -- Scanbuy, Jagtag and Clic2C -- there are at least 15 initiatives involving national brands in the retail, fashion, food and beverage categories that should hit next quarter.

Nike 6.0, the action-sports division of the footwear maker, recently deployed 2-D barcodes at several sporting events it sponsored late last year, delivering content about Nike athletes to fans who sent in images of Jagtag codes. While Nike won't disclose campaign metrics, Butch Bannon, a business-development exec at its promotional-marketing agency, TAOW Productions, said Nike will look at other ways of integrating 2-D barcodes in future venues.

Microsoft will be slapping 2-D barcodes on the next round of packaging for its Xbox games, said Larry Harris, CEO of Ansible, which worked with Microsoft on a 2-D-barcode campaign to promote an enterprise server.

This kind of one-to-one exchange between brand and consumer is already well-entrenched in Japan, where they're known as QR codes and where readers come preinstalled on about 70% of all mobile phones. But stateside only a few brands have flirted with the technology, mostly because consumers don't want to bother downloading the applications required to read the codes. Plus, there are no standards for 2-D barcodes in the U.S., meaning the codes employed in one-off campaigns are proprietary, and each require their own reader and decoder.

Jagtag is trying to solve that problem by making it easier for consumers. Rather than downloading an application, they take a picture of Jagtag's 2-D barcode and send it to a short code, and Jagtag sends back a URL, coupon or other media via multimedia messaging service.

But analysts and Jagtag competitors agree that for 2-D barcodes to gain any meaningful traction, the code reader must come preloaded on cellphones -- and only the wireless carriers can make happen, as they dictate the specs to handset makers.

Jonathan Bulkeley, CEO of Scanbuy, a Jagtag competitor, said he expects his code reader to be preinstalled on 10 to 12 handsets sold by Sprint and Alltel, which Verizon has acquired, by this spring. But consider there are 250 different handsets in the U.S., and they run on several different operating systems. That's a long way to go.

The wireless carriers are slowly coming onboard as they look to transactions and commerce to help drive revenue. Scanbuy has been chasing AT&T and Verizon for at least 18 months; late last year, it got Sprint to approve its application, so users can download it on 40 handsets sold by the carrier. The No. 3 U.S. carrier began promoting Scanbuy's application on its website late last year. Jagtag's service works with AT&T and Verizon. "Carriers need to figure out how to make money on navigation, transaction and advertising," Mr. Bulkeley said. "On mobile, consumers are going to go directly to what they're interested in, not go search for it."

Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Bar Coded Train Tickets on Mobile



The Association ot Train Operating Companies has announced that all its franchisees will be able to take orders from train travellers straight from their phone and receive their tickets literally seconds before trains depart.

The system uses Masabi's tried and tested mobile ticketing solutions which relies on a barcode image that is scanned by the appropriate device(s) - as used by City AM newspaper and for V-fest events.

There's no need to sign-up and fast repeat purchases can simply be done using the card's CVV.

In addition, you won't be charged extra for using the sytem which uses US Government certified security encryption and when things go wrong, the new barcodes contain enough ticket information to allow alternative systems to validate tickets.


Ben Wittaker of Masabi said that "Once you send your text message to purchase your ticket, you will receive a response with a barcode reference, which can be scanned by inspectors."

Commentators hope that the service is more reliable than the UK train network and more secure than Transport For London's own Oyster system which has suffered a number of security scares in the past few months.

National Express, Heathrow Express and Chiltern Railways have already adopted the Rail Settlement Plan. This will lay the foundations of the rail ticketing body in charge of drafting the UK-wide standard which will oversee the use of tickets printed outside train stations.

Following successful trails with various train companies Masabi has worked with the Rail Settlement plan - the body that cross charges networks for ticketing to create an open standard for train tickets carrying bar codes to be accepted across rail franchises - enabling tickets to be printed out at home, or even displayed on mobile-phone screens, and used on journeys between network operators.

Selling tickets is an expensive part of running a rail franchise, and nearly 90 per cent of tickets are still sold at stations using ticket machines or at traditional windows.

Trials run by Masabi, who specialise in rendering bar-code information on phone screens, have apparently demonstrated that customers will happily buy tickets using their mobile phone - either while travelling to, or on arrival at, the railway station. Masabi's Java application stores the customer's credit card details locally, so the user just keys in the three-digit code from the back of their card along with origin and destination, and the ticket is bought and delivered over SMS or data connection where available.

But the standard also allows for bar codes to be rendered on other devices, or printed out after being bought on-line. Ticket inspectors will need to be equipped with bar-code readers, of course, but many are already sporting the technology and the standard has been devised in such a way that the last eight digits can be manually entered and checked on-line if necessary. Where a bar-code reader is used it shouldn't be necessary to perform an on-line verification as the 2D bar code contains authenticated details of the journey paid for.

The service does open up the opportunity to have one's phone poised, ready to buy a ticket should an inspector turn up, but you'll have to ensure you're are in the middle of a long carriage for that plan - as being dependent on timely SMS delivery to avoid a fine is not a good position to be in.

See Masabi's website for details.