What can you do with a 2D code? Plenty. If you know what it is and how to use it, that is. While the jury is still out on whether scannable codes are the mobile communication window of the future or a neat way to provide web shortcuts for the time-being, we took some time to line up the most popular codes, along with where and how to make them, for planners looking to capitalize on this growing technology trend.
QR Codes Arguably the most popular kind of 2D code, QR (short for "Quick Response") codes store data—like URLs—that can then be scanned using a mobile phone. After capturing the code, users are then directed to a predetermined location, like your website or Facebook page. For iPhone, we like the QR Scanner Pro ($0.99).
Microsoft Tag The Microsoft Tag is a high capacity color barcode (HCCB) that is formed using triangles instead of the more traditional squares that make up most other 2D codes. Unlike most QR codes that can be scanned using a range of mobile software, the Microsoft Tag requires its own specific mobile tagging app, which is available for iPhone, Blackberry and Android.
Bee Tagg Like the name might suggest, Bee Taggs are formed using a honey comb-shaped matrix and can be customized with logos or images. The mobile application can also be used to make and read QR codes, datamatrix and EAN-13 / UPC-A. It also has its own (free) iPhone app.
There are literally dozens of websites out there offering free 2D coding services, but in our office Kaywa and Delivr have proven themselves to be reliable. For a small fee, there are several other services (like ScanLife) that provide real-time location tracking, mobile phone customization and reporting analytics for 2D codes. Currently, Microsoft Tag is offering analytics without a fee.
Do you have some insight into the 2D code phenomenon or ideas about incorporating them into events? We'd love to hear from you.
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