Tag, Your It!01/09/2013
QR Codes and Microsoft Tags seem to be popping up everywhere, on signs and posters, in magazines, on the internet and even on T.V. These little squares (rectangles) provide information for Mobile Users with the proper app to read them. They remind me of Aztec cave hieroglyphics or the tags by the door on an alien spaceship in a science fiction movie. Useful and compact they may offer a way to provide information to many who have made the leap to smart phones and are waiting for opportunities to use all of that mobile power.
Some smart phones are being delivered with the ability to scan these little tags built in, others need to download an app (usually free) to scan and read the little encoded squares. These coded squares can have a web site URL, text or sms message, as well as geo-tagging information embedded in them and with a quick scan by your smart phone you gather additional information about the item or event that is being promoted.
A concert poster may have longitude and latitude information so you can geo map the directions to the concert. The poster tag or code could include information regarding a promotion or other event coinciding with the concert. Microsoft says it may be soon releasing the ability to determine where you are when viewing the poster so if you are at some distance away the Microsoft tag provides directions to the concert but if you are nearby perhaps a concert concession promotion is encoded instead. Of course you would have to allow your geo information to be returned for this to function.
The possibilities these codes present for website promotion is virtually endless. A standard sheet of paper (8.5 x 11) in a Merchants window with a large QR Code could direct customers and passers by to the Merchants website for online purchases or for sales and other promotions. Placing QR Codes on bags, receipts, packing material and more can provide another opportunity to provide people with a link to a website and other valuable information in one of these tiny little squares.
Forms of the QR Code have been around for years but the mobile technology to utilize them fully is now readily available. Both QR Code and Microsoft tags offer opportunities for developers, promoters and users. It will be interesting to see how they are used in the future. It seems like there are a myriad of possibilities with these little code displays, they could become as popular and useful as the bar code.