A couple of weeks ago I posted an update and video demo showing how QR (quick response) codes work. Today, I was pointed to a separate Microsoft version of the technology. It's called Microsoft Tag. The way it works is identical to the QR code system (download an app, take a photo, decode the photo through a gateway and deliver you the content).
Where QR codes came out of technology and manufacturing, this new system is coming into the world with a consumer-friendly push. The site is easy to use, shows the value of the service in terms that consumers can understand and provides a direct link to have the software download page sent to your device. The iPhone app has worked well in my trials.
The same Microsoft system enables marketers to create the codes through a central interface, track engagement through usage and render code images in a very easy manner. The application asks for your location (not sure if this is shared back to the marketer or Microsoft).
Here is a video demo of the Tag technology.
[Feed readers please click through to the post.]
However, with the excitement around this system the same challenges exist for Microsoft as for other providers. There is a lack of education about this in the public and software readers are scarce.
Real world exampleJust as an example of the kind of linkage you can get with this technology, I saw a QR code in the wild the other day when I was in a movie theatre. The cardboard standup for the movie "Notorious" had two of these codes on it. The code linked the user to the movie's trailer on YouTube and the revelation that people had when I showed them how I just linked the physical marketing to the online was amazing.
Could a move by Google embed this into the mainstream? What if all US carriers started installing this software standard? What would you use it for in an existing campaign? How are you engaging people offline to bring them online?
This isn't a short-term answer, but it does get you thinking.