Sunday, 15 November 2009

Part 2 – 2 Dimensional Barcode Marketing

2 dimensional barcodes have been around for almost 16 years now but are gaining in popularity around the world. They were originally invented by Denso Wave, part of the Toyota group of companies to track vehicle parts in the automotive industry.
Some examples below:

2 Dimensional Barcodes:

Aztec Code

Datamatrix Code

QR Code

Microsoft Tag
(Image credit:

These 2D barcodes are different to the normal 1D Barcodes that we see on nearly everything we buy today. However GS1 Mobile Com group, the global organisation dedicated to the development and implementation of global data standards and solutions for the supply chain, have recommended that there should be only 3 types of barcodes used.
The normal 1D Barcode, (as below) or QR Code and Datamatrix/Semacode codes (as above).

1 Dimensional Barcode:

1 Dimensional Barcode

1 Dimensional Barcodes have been around for over 50 years and can only store numerical data whereas 2 Dimensional Barcodes like the ones above can store a lot more data such as urls or hyperlinks. This data can include links to the internet, a video (even a live video stream) or audio file, pictures, phone numbers so they can call or SMS, map directions, download software, e-mail addresses and many, many other uses. Watch a video with Creative Search Media about QR Codes.
QR Codes (Quick Response Codes) and Datamatrix codes are most common, with Microsoft Tag recently releasing their version into the mix in 2009. The Japanese were early adopters of the QR Code & Datamatrix code and are still widely used today in Japan, from receiving a voucher for a free drink from a vending machine, to downloading a movie trailer for a film advertised on a poster in the tube station.
Currently Pepsi are running a QR Code campaign in the UK, when scanned the code takes you to the Pepsi Max mobile WAP page, where there is further information including wallpaper & game downloads and much more.
It is very important that when using 2D Barcodes, if redirecting to a website it is optimised for mobile viewing. If it is not optimised for mobile viewing it is very likely the pages will load slowly and the information will be difficult to navigate on a small screen, hence the user will be unlikely to return.

Barcode Readers:To scan these 2D Barcodes on your mobile phone, requires a camera and a barcode reader installed on your mobile handset. Nearly all new mobile phones coming out of Asia will have the barcode reader software pre-installed.

If you do not have a barcode reader pre-installed on your mobile phone then there are numerous 2D Barcode reader software available to download, below is a list of just some of the readers i have come across. Most of these are free to download, others may charge a fee.
BeeTagg Reader can be downloaded by SMS and they have a page of supported phones.
Neoreader (i Phone)
2D Sense (i Phone)