Saturday, April 08, 2006

t-shirts with "mobile tags"

Just spotted this over at Creativematch. It seems that Abaxia has teamed up with French mobile news site W3SH to use 'mobile tags' (aka QR codes, semacodes, Shotcodes, 2d barcodes...) on t-shirts. On the back of the t-shirt is the tag. You take a picture of it from your camera phone and it links you automatically to the W3SH wap site.

And it all sounds kinda neat, except that my direct experience with these mobile barcodes in the UK at least is that they need an application on your phone to work and that is not currently pre-installed on the handset unlike Japan. And that these are *usually* Symbian applications. I have seen a Java application, but it was incredibly clunky and I would suggest that only geeks would be bothered with it. Also, there's a design flaw in these t-shirts - the code is on the back of the neck and the chances are this may well be covered by your hair or your backpack with your laptop lurking in it so I'm not quite sure what the point is except that it's a gimmick.

I have no doubt that these mobiletags, QR codes, Shotcodes or whatever you want to call them, will come. It's a question of time I guess for it to reach mass market usage. When they do come, it will certainly be much easier to connect to the mobile internet by taking a picture of a barcode from the tv screen or from a poster than trying to type in a long URL. It's also cheaper than sending in a message to get a wap push message back. Of course, all this assumes that mobile internet access will become faster and more reliable sooner rather than later...