Fast access to more information–no more memorizing long URLs or searching for pens and scrap paper! Sounds good to an agency that puts a lot of website addresses on marketing material.  


But is there a market in the Yukon for 2D barcodes? Would enough people know what they are? Do enough people have the right technology to use them?


My first thought when I heard about this technology was, "Aren't all barcodes 2D?" It took some explaining for me to understand what a 2D barcode can do and how it's different from the ones printed on everything from cereal boxes to underwear.


Technically, a 2D barcode stores information both vertically and horizontally, which explains why traditional barcodes are only one-dimensional: horizontal.  


How do you use them?

step 1: You see it printed on a poster, in a flyer, on a box, etc. 

step 2: You take a photo of it with your fancy mobile/blackberry/smart phone.

step 3: Your phone reads the barcode and connects you to the relevant information on a website. 


This weekend I heard a radio program about early internet usage and it was interesting to learn that print advertising used to spell out in full "aitch-tee-tee-pee-colon-oblique-oblique" (http://). We hardly need to write “www” anymore! How did we get to a graphic instead of typed websites? When did we know it was okay to drop the “http” or the “www”? How does one help the public recognize a new technology without writing a multi-paragraph blog to explain it?



1 comment

by Mark

Interesting article. I suppose the big question is, where do we start? Do we leave it up to the public to decide or as communications professionals are we the one’s to begin using these bar codes in advertisements on behalf of our clients?

I just downloaded an iPhone application that specifically reads these bar codes. Funny thing happened. It would seem that not all readers are created equal. I was only able to read 1 of the 3. The other 2 were not recognized or could not be decoded. This begs another question. How reliable is this technology? Judging from what I have experienced, the applications need some improvement.



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