Sunday, January 18, 2009

Linking Physical and Digital Worlds with Microsoft Tag

The recently launched Microsoft Tag provides similar functionality to QRcodes and other 2D barcode technologies. Though this tag does not offer new functionality, it has been optimize for use by cellphones: it is works well with fixed-focus cameras, standard issue on most mobile phones; and it can be read more effectively when the image is blurry, or the tag damaged. The image on the left is a Microsoft Tag that links to this blog.

To use the service the process is akin to that used for QRcodes. First users need to install a reader application on their mobile device. This application is available on many platforms including iPhone, Windows, Java, etc. Once installed, users run the application and "simply snap a picture of a tag using the camera on their internet-enabled phone and they are taken to a page that shares additional information on the associated product or service without the extra step of entering complicated web addresses or texting special codes."

For the moment anyone can generate a tag for free via the Microsoft Tag website - all you need is the URL to which the tag will be linked. However, this product is still beta and Microsoft has not announced whether it will at some point start charging for the service. Now that mobile applications have become mainstream I hope to see more widespread adoption of reader technology by mobile phone users and the increase in application of this type of technology for all types of communication.

[sourced from PSFK article]

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