Introduction to mobile barcode QR technology
The mobile web has been a long held promise but finally the first wave of mobile web devices like the iPhone and Android devices allow for more advanced ways to get online. New to Europe are QR barcodes a special code that can be read by a mobile phone. Read on to learn how QR can be used to enable an entirely new form of awareness raising for businesses and charities / non-profits.
UPDATE: FACEBOOK ADDS QR
What this means is users of mobile phones will be able to snap a mobile QR code and get your profile URL so they can access your Facebook page from their mobile phone. At a guess we would say expect to see a QR reader in a future iPhone / Android version of the Facebook mobile app.
At the moment the QR popup seems to be broken, also you can change a status update into a QR coded message…We’re very familiar with QR and the purpose of that feature is a bit lost on us as well
If you want to have a play with reading QR codes check out reader.kaywa.com or for the iPhone try QuickMark featuring Real Time Scanning . Read on to learn more about how charity BullyingUK has used QR to reach 40,000 young people.
A few years ago we started to look at how the offline and online worlds could be bridged using mobile phone technology for a project we were working on @bullyinguk . We decided to extend one of our most popular projects Click, Create and Print by adding QR and mobile technology into the mix.
Enter the QR
QR is exactly as its full name suggests Quick Respons. It’s ideal for anything where you want to quickly allow a user to access information contained in the code (address, phone number, URL) or on the web via a mobile phone.
In Japan more users access the web and information via mobile handsets than a fixed computer. QR was developed for use in that market about 10 years ago and along with Datamatrix is the most popular form of data barcode system.
QR has limitations in the amount of info you can encode into it, less is better. A web address or phone number is ideal but anything more than a few words (15-30 characters) and the code becomes too complex to work reliably across a wide range of handsets and media.
We set to work inventing a solution that would hit my goal of uniting the offline and online worlds.
Here is the Wheel – No Reinvention needed – let’s innovate
We settled on using QR with @BullyingUK‘s Online Poster Creator allowing a copy of the user created poster to be downloaded to the phone and shared via MMS, Bluetooth or whatever other options the user’s phone may have. We believe we have one of the most complex implementation of QR in the world because we handle it all on the fly at creation time. We and @MattBindoff had to invent our own processes to handle creating the QR code, adding it onto a poster’s graphic and then generating a viral widget and uploading all that information to internal and external sites like Flickr and Twitter.
The anti-bullying poster widget is created at the same time a user saves their poster to the gallery. Their widget can be embedded onto over 80 social sites like Facebook or Myspace and has a small chiclet that opens up the QR code in the widget.
This creates a complete circle around the offline and online use of the codes. Each code ties directly to the user’s poster and allows the mobile phone to download a copy of the poster and share it with friends.
Each poster also includes a generic QR code that allows access to our mobile site, a slimmed down version of the main BullyingUK website.
Over 23,000 QR enabled posters and their corresponding widgets have been created generating over 75,000 views in just six months!