[Alley Insider] Google’s efforts to get into the newspaper ad business have yet to yield much. One tool it hopes will eventually change that: Small, square barcodes, like the one at the right, at the bottom of print ads. When a person scans the barcode with a compatible camera phone, it takes their phone’s browser to a mobile Web address encrypted in the graphic.

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – the CueCat*

* actually it was George Santayana, but somehow feels appropriate.


    mike (January 29, 2008 @ 8:06 am)

    The software to do this “reading” of these small square barecodes is installed by default on all new Nokia phones.
    They are really popular in Japan.
    See this page (especially the comments) for more information

    smakofs (January 29, 2008 @ 9:29 pm)


    Not sure that it makes it any better of an idea.

    mike (January 30, 2008 @ 7:48 am)

    ahh, yeah. I keep doing that, leaving half of my point in my head,rather than typing it (I hope to learn to stop doing that, and still manage to write short replies).

    At least in most of Europe and Japan (my impression is that the US is lagging behind in this respect), virtually everyone has a cell-phone, most of which have cameras (granted that not all of those have this bar-code reading app)
    The other thing that cell-phones have is a browser and an internet connection, so when you see the add, if you want more information you can go and get it.

    I have tried this once or twice using my phone, and it was an OK experience (sort of a “hey, cool”, type recation, but not going to run out and look for 2D barcodes).
    Better than noting a URL and then waiting to get to a computer to enter it into a browser, and *ALOT* better than attempting to enter it via T9.

    Definatly a limited use idea currently, but as there are more of these 2D barcodes around, and more people start to use their phones to access that content, the “killer-app” could be found.

    In fact the two entries that Tommi links to ( http://harper.wirelessink.com/?p=83 and http://cognections.typepad.com/lifeblog/2006/05/winksite_fusing.html ) both explain it much better than i am.

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