Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Marketing Now! QR Codes are essential

In the MBA project we hypothesised on some of the use cases for 3D barcodes.

The potential of this technology as a platform that can seamlessly link marketing with social media is becoming apparent.  CRM Innovation now suggests that one form of 3D barcodes, the QR Code, is now essential and any marketing team has to have an actionable plan on how to make use of this simple, yet powerful, customer interface.

Read the full article here.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Cinema Satisfaction: Summary of Responses

We asked our friends and colleagues about the key factors that influence their satisfaction as a Cinema goer. The survey suggested that the time waiting to buy tickets was the major factor for overall satisfaction.

Take the Cinema Satisfaction Survey

We have identified five causes of personal influence on the Cinema experience, we are looking for your main influence, what is the biggest determinant of a "good Cinema experience:?

Extensions: Cinema Customer Satisfaction Survey

When we developed the ideas around the use of 2D barcodes Cinema had a large part to play, 2D barcodes represented another way of connecting users to content. An online channel that was an extension into the idea of self service.

Now we're following up in the area of service expectations from customers, specifially once you have used the 2D barcode to locate the film, what are the key drivers of the customer experience for you?

Please take the survey and help our research, thanks

Wednesday, July 1, 2009 launches mobile-tagging

Weird images on real estate billboards take customers to online information By Computerworld staff Auckland | Monday, 29 June, 2009

Online Real Estate company has launched QR Codes, codes that automatically connect potential customers with virtual property tours and other information online. Q

R Codes, a two-dimensional bar code originally created by Japanese automotive components manufacturer Denso-Wave in 1994, are odd looking pictures appearing on real estate billboards nationwide.

Standing for quick response, the QR Codes at connect people to information online at the click of a button, in this instance the camera on their mobile phone, says managing director Chris Bates.

A customer can walk past a house or read a brochure and snap a picture of the QR code to get transported to a website with a virtual tour, Bates says. Taking a photo of a QR Code prompts reader software to scan the image and then launches the phone’s browser directly to a programmed URL. Bates says most new 3G phones sold in New Zealand in the past year come with a QR Code reader or can download one from the internet to decipher the codes.

Ultimately every property will have a code and they will appear in all the traditional Real Estate marketing materials, including print advertising, window cards and flyers, he says.

Demonstration of Open2view QR code

Monday, May 18, 2009

Barcodes of the future


Last updated 11:39 21/04/2009

Picture this: you are out and about on a Saturday afternoon and see an advertisement at a bus stop for an outdoor concert.

In a corner of the advertisement are a couple of barcodes. Wanting to find out more about the concert, you pull out your 3G-capable mobile phone and take a picture of one of the codes.

It transfers you to the official website of the concert, where you find out that it is to be held tomorrow night and some of your favourite bands will be performing. However, the concert will be cancelled if it is raining. You take a picture of the next code, which transfers you to the latest weather information. Gutted! It's meant to rain.

As you walk along, you see another advertisement for the latest blockbuster film. Taking a photo of the code printed on the advertisement takes you to the session times for the film at the cinemas in your area.

Barcodes as we know them are meaningless to most people. But with the advancement of 3G mobile phone technology, 2D - or two-dimensional - barcodes could become one of the most useful consumer tools of our time.

2D barcodes were created by Japanese company Denso-Wave to track car parts, but have since developed into a tool that opens a world of opportunities for consumers. It is sometimes called mobile tagging.

2D barcodes contain information in both their horizontal and vertical indices, as opposed to the one-dimensional barcodes we normally see, for example, on supermarket products. These hold information only in the vertical index.

2D barcodes open up a world of opportunity. Imagine shopping at a supermarket and wanting to know that your fruit and vegetables are not genetically modified and the wine you will drink is of a good quality. A picture of the 2D barcode on the product's packaging leads you to a website where you can watch footage of the vegetables growing and the wine being made before you make your purchases.

Risa Takauchi, 22, of Osaka, Japan, first used the 2D Quick Response (QR) code a few years ago when she downloaded a discount coupon on to her mobile phone using a pre-installed barcode application.

Takauchi says she now uses the code several times a month. "I use it to get coupons or information about particular restaurants. At McDonald's I'll use it to get information on the food I'm eating, like calories and nutrition."

McDonald's Japan has the QR codes printed on the wrappers of their products linking consumers to nutritional information about the individual product.

Other codes printed by McDonald's lead to discount vouchers which can be redeemed by showing your phone at the front counter. This is the Japanese equivalent of

Takauchi believes the success of QR codes in Japan is the way it makes website access so simple. "You just take a photo of the QR code and it takes you to the website immediately. It is really easy to go to the website and see only the web page of the information you really want to know."

New Zealander Michael Smith, 20, was introduced to the 2D code technology by a friend who discovered it while in Japan. He created his own code via the website and used the 2D sense application on his iPhone to test it.

"It was very easy to use. I think they would be useful in accessing information you might want when you are out and about, such as weather or event information. One click and you are there. It saves time googling everything," he says

"Everyone has a cellphone these days. If organisations put the codes on bus shelters or billboards - things people see when they are killing time - I'm sure people would use them."

Smith would like to see the QR codes used in New Zealand for "more promotions, links to free stuff, vouchers and cool stuff like that".

New Zealand-born exporter Kupa Hokianga has been developing QR codes for New Zealand and Australian exports to Japan since 2006, and says the technology has allowed his company, Gallerie, to bypass multiple levels of distribution in Japan.

"We started from scratch two years ago, and now fly pallets of gourmet products monthly, selling direct to consumers, cafes and cooking schools," he says.

Using QR codes, clients are supplied with information regarding ingredients, health warnings, recipes and the country of origin, as well as having the option to receive newsletters and special offers.

Without having advertised in the mainstream media, Gallerie now has a database of more than 200,000 consumers.

While New Zealand is yet to adopt this technology, QR codes are being used in Australia, Britain and the United States.

Last year, Sony, in conjunction with Telstra Australia, used QR codes to promote the cinema release of the James Bond film, Quantum of Solace. The treasure- hunt promotion attracted about 10,000 entries.

It has been suggested that Australians will be using QR codes as a standard information portal within the next 12 months.

In Britain, softdrink maker Pepsi began a QR campaign at the end of 2008, printing codes on 400 million products. Through the code, users are transferred to a website where people can enter competitions and download games and wallpapers.

The QR code is open source, which is free to anyone to create a code for non-commercial use. To try the technology, go to

* Tania Butterfield is a journalism student at the University of Canterbury.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Revamping Ticket Sales - Meepass

In the report there are references to vouchers and B2C. We make the comment that ticket sale, distribution and admission could be changed significantly. This is based in fact and one French company is make inroads into this model.

The consumer locks into their onboard code generator with their PIN number. This allows personal iormation to be encoded and solves the security/fraudulent use issue.

Next the user generates the code and presents the phone to the reader on the entrance gate.

The reader scans the barcode from the handset screen, one of the key benefits of the technology is the flexibility of media that can be used.

Success!! the reader identifies the consumer as a paying guest and allows access to the venue.

This could be used for all venue events. I could have a barcode set with my Wellington Rugby Football Union season ticket number. I could then present my phone to the reader when I go to watch the Hurricanes or Lions down at the cake tin.

txtBus 2.0

Metlink currently provide the txtBus service.

The basic premise is that a passenger can text the bus stop number to an SMS gateway run by Metlink. The passenger then gets an SMS by return that provides the next three services to run from that bus stop.

Problem 1: the number, although easy, is not displayed on all bus stops. That means I have to remember it :(

Problem 2: the bus stop already has a static timetable showing all of the [planned] service times departing from that bus stop, this is the same information used by Metlink. The problem is that buses never actually run on time.

GoWellington buses are running a smartcard system similar to London's Oyster, Hong Kong's Octopus and Singapore's EZLink cards. The Wellington Snapper service uses GPS tracking to determine the passengers boarding bus stop and their alighting bus stop. This provides the basis for fare calculation.

It should then be possible to use this information to provide a more accurate estimated arrival time for services approaching your bus stop. If this information was then made available through the SMS gateway and supplied to customers then service actually becomes useful.

Where th QR Code fits in is that each bus stop would then have a QR Code with the bus stop number encoded in the message and the txtBus phone number encoded in the recipient. Now a passenger has two click access to real time bus service data.

QR Codes used in Libraries

The University of Bath have a very active 2D barcode programme.

One use is embedding a QR Code into the Library information system where the QR code containing the books information (Title, Author, Location) is generated and presented to the searcher.

The benefit to me is the quick retrieval directly onto my handset, no more bits of paper (there is never a pen nearby anyway) the information is in my hand and with me as I start my search through the library.

Take this idea to another level....

More and more handsets also have GPS on them. One of the useful data sets to encode in 2D barcode is geocode information. Typically this is longitude and latitude. If you were to make this a triplet and include altitiude you have some very powerful tools at hand.

Map the book shelf location as a triplet:
  • How far left or right
  • How far ahead or behind
  • How far above or below
is the book's location from where I currently am. The shelf location can be inserted automatically as a waypoint and then I simply follow the directions that my phone gives me. Gets me to the right shelf stack more easily than trying to interpret one of the those maps like you get in Wellington Central Library and much easier than what is currently offered in the Rankine-Brown Library at Vic Uni.

2D Barcodes and RFID

Below is a brief comparison of the key features of 2D barcodes to one of its major competitors. Specifics: when used for identification, asset tracking or supply chain management.