Emerging Tech

Sears begins public trial of 2-D bar code technology

Sears has become the first U.S. retailer to begin a public trial of 2-D bar code, according to eWeek. Other top-tier U.S. retailers that are seriously evaluating the technology includes Best Buy, Gap, and Target.

Sears has become the first U.S. retailer to begin a public trial of 2-D bar code, according to eWeek. Other top-tier U.S. retailers that are seriously evaluating the technology includes Best Buy, Gap, and Target.

In the United States, there are multiple vendors driving this technology. Sears is working with a company called ScanBuy, while Best Buy and Target are working with an outfit called StoreXperience.

Excerpt from eWeek:

The technique involves having a cell phone's digital camera "look" at a small 2-D bar code on an advertisement, which launches an applet. A server interprets the bar code and the phone then launches a Web browser and deep-links to a page on that site, typically the Web site of the advertiser.
As expected, the biggest concern is that relatively few phones will be able to access the service, since the service is available on a limited number of phones at the moment.

What is your take on retail 2-D bar codes? Will consumers bite?

About

Paul Mah is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones, and networking devices.

10 comments
lhaehn
lhaehn

There was an ad in Wired from Sprint. Decided what the heck. Downloaded the applet and got a free (crappy) ringtone. Was it worth it? Maybe not. Am I mad that I did it? No. Will I use it in the future? We'll see.

JG2000
JG2000

I tried to make use of it for POS and inventory control. The device would generate output which could easily be "Cat-trapped". A small music store for which I consulted at the time got 2 free from Radio Shack. Unfortunately, the output sequence started with an ASCII 0 which the RDBMS software I was using at the time read as the end of a string. Well, it was a fun try. I still have mine, and just might put it to use some day.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I don't have a cell phone and don't pay much attention to their capabilities. I'm under the impression the consumer pays for web connectivity by the minute; correct me if I'm wrong again. If that is the case, why would I want to spend money to view advertising?

crysmon
crysmon

Now with the popularity of PDA phones (which saves my butt on a regular basis) the attraction to mobile web capabilities on phones has risin. With PDA phones your provider will 99.9% of the time require you to purchase a media package. This includes unlimited internet access in most cases. When using a standard phone you have media internet access (a watered down limited access internet connection) to a limited number of services that your provider offers. I.E. maps, news, sports, music downloads, and things of a like nature. Access to these online apps is usually charged by using your call minutes on top of a monthly access fee. With smart phones (which are a step above standard phones, but not considered PDA phones) you most of the time get the full internet, and your choice of billing. That being either unlimited access, or charged and access fee and the uses your minutes when connected. Now with that said, I 100% agree to the fact that while I am paying for theses services I am not going to intentionally access more advertisements! Now on the other had if they maybe start offering consumers a chance to see if coupons or manufacture rebates are available on these items that can be used at checkout from your phone, then they might have something good going. They get their advertisement out, the consumer has an incentive to view that advertisement, and everyone is happy.

Jaqui
Jaqui

I would hope not, but since it appears most people are too stupid to realize that everything they say makes their lives easier is also what makes IDENTITY THEFT easier I bet they will.

paulmah
paulmah

What is your take on retail 2-D bar codes? Will consumers bite?

User94327
User94327

Did they forget about that venture? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CueCat Like I'm going to take pictures of bar codes.

crysmon
crysmon

How did I miss that product launch. I read the article though, lol, interesting concept, almost sounded doomed from the begining.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I didn't know anybody who bought the device, and it disappeared fairly quickly. Shortened URL's helped kill it, as did consumers becoming more comfortable keying in the URLs for themselves.

crysmon
crysmon

Why on Earth would i want to download an applet to my phone (that may or may not work with it) just to get on the spot advertisements? Granted, I understand you must first take a picture, use the program to decode it, and then it shoots you out to the site. IS IT REALLY THAT HARD FOR PEOPLE TO USE SEARCH ENGINES, OR LOGICALL DEDUCTION OF MENUS TO FIND PRODUCTS!!!??? I would rather click 4 or 5 times to find something that go through the whole process above.

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