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    Unexpected barcode in the bagging area…

    March 8th, 2010

    A fair few times on this blog I have mentioned QR Codes, even a few times I have mentioned Microsoft Tags.

    Both are mobile phone barcodes that store a lot more information than your standard product barcode that you scan at the supermarket.

    By encoding information into print, users (or learners) can scan into their mobile phones, information, data, URLs,

    So the question you may be asking, which of these two mobile phone barcode systems you should go for?

    Well sometimes it is not a matter of comparing the two systems, but asking what device do your learners have and be using.

    I have been using an iPhone 3G for nearly a year now and the main issue with using the iPhone and QR Codes is the quality of the camera. Due to the fixed focus it has real issues in acquiring and reading QR Codes. Now the iPhone 3GS has a much better camera and the variable focus does allow it to focus much better on QR Codes and decode them. However I still have issues and both the 3G and 3GS don’t even come close to the scanning ability of the Nokia N95.

    Having recently installed the Microsoft Tag Reader on my Google Nexus One and reading the Microsoft Tag Blog I noticed that they said they had an iPhone App.

    So out of curiosity I installed and tried it with my iPhone 3G and was surprised to see that it worked very well.

    Now I do have issues with some of the privacy issues relating to Microsoft’s implementation of mobile phone barcodes, but if your learners all have iPhones and specifically the lower specified iPhone 3G then using Microsoft Tags may be a real option in getting learners easy access to information and URLs.


    A new kind of barcode….

    January 30th, 2009

    So what’s this then?

    A new kind of barcode....

    Any ideas?

    If you’re thinking it’s just a abstract graph of some kind, well you’re not quite correct.

    Nor is it my new logo!

    Neither is it an abstract representation of the readers of this blog.

    Well if you’re thinking it must be some kind of mobile phone barcode then you’re going down the right path.

    I mentioned QR codes on this blog ages ago… back in September 2007 as it happens and this is not a QR code, but it works in a similar fashion.

    It’s a Microsoft Tag.

    Yes Microsoft have developed their own version of mobile phone barcodes, which require their reader and require you to register in order to create them.

    It’s all very typical Microsoft.

    mstagsplash1

    You can download a reader for your phone from gettag.mobi and when I did from my Nokia N73 it recogised my phone and I downloaded a .sis file which installed the application onto my phone.

    In order to create a barcode (or should I say tag) you need to register and have a Microsoft Live ID.

    You can then create a barcode for an URL or text. Though I did see that if you include an URL in your text, when you read the barcode, the reader takes you straight to the URL and you never see the text. So no chance of including your blog address in some biographical text for example. You can have a thousand characters in your text barcode, but I found I needed less for it to work (about 980).

    There are only three options for the barcodes in terms of format, pdf, wmf and xps. You can specify the size of the code in terms of inches (no metric measurements here).

    There are no web versions available, and on a superficial level you can understand that, why would you need an online version of a mobile phone barcode, just use the computer to access the site.

    It did appear to work faster than my Kaywa reader and goes direct to the website rather than through the advertising supported Kaywa site that happens to me when I use a QR Code.

    Overall I am not sure about this, not sure if it will catch on or whether we should stick with QR Codes.

    Nah, stick with QR Codes.