Microsoft has developed a new innovative service called “Tag,” and recently took Tag out of testing. Tag is a bar code service that works through mobile phones. It uses Quick Response (QR) codes, a two dimensional representation of a bar code that the phone can read.
Imagine going to a museum, play, or historic area, and being able to “scan” a bar code printed somewhere on the display, or poster, and instantly get more information, photos, or video clips that pertain to the subject. It has been imagined that this technology can go so much farther than it has already been taken. Just since Microsoft's launch of the service, over 1 billion tags have been printed. Aaron Getz asserts on Microsoft's blog, that in the month of April of last year there were more than 20 million magazines sold that had these “Tags” in them.
On their blog, Getz wrote, "Today we can imagine a world where any physical object can become a gateway to a world of digital content and engagement: Scan a product in a newspaper, get a personalized offer, buy it on the spot, or get directions to the store to buy it later. Or, scan a poster for a play, see a preview of the performance, invite friends, and buy tickets.”
The new Microsoft Tag will work on BlackBerry, iPhone, Android, PalmOS, Symbian, and the MS systems. A Java version is in the works as of now, so those of you will less expensive devices will soon be able to use the system, and the trend is catching on. Google and Facebook have already fielded their own versions of this technology for advertising and profiles. This has been tried before, and with sad results, but since then smart phones have become more prevalent, now bar code scanning will be available to the masses.