Why every digital marketer needs to know about QR Codes

Looks like a backdrop from a 1988 Atari game but Denso Wave Corp’s Quick Response (QR) Code is the begining of a revolution in how we interact with every day objects. The design of the printed data (pictured left) allows for a great deal of data to be transfered to scanners. There’s been a proliforation of scanner technology being adapted by mobile phones however, limited web-browsing on phones in general has limited the level of interaction the consumer can have post-scan. This is about to change with Microsoft’s new application, the first step to QR Codes becoming a litgitimate way to reach mass audiences with highly interactive content via QR Code.

Benefits

Pretty simple – turn any object including press ad, clothing article, outdoor location etc into a link to the digital world. The biggest initial opportunities wil be linking ads & objects to eCommerce sites for sales conversion. 

Obviously there’s opportunity to get a lot more creative with the technology, the potential instore and real world is astronomical. It won’t be long until we see these funny barcodes everywhere we look.

Samsung’s touchscreen vending machine

A vending machine with added interactivity was released at the latest CES conference thanks to a joint venture between Coke & Samsung. 

Though the idea isn’t breath-takingly advanced, nor is the technology, the very existence of the development points to some growing trends within digital communications.

Added interactivity

Fairfax predicted that 2009 would be the year of the touch screen – with the rapid uptake of the iPhone multitouch hardware and growing number of in-store touch screen kiosks, digital interactions between shoppers and real life products is beginning to build momentum quickly.

Why is the added interactivity important? For consumers – more relevant information when they need it, for communicators – qualified consumers to focus their messaging. As more and more real-world objects gain digital identities, they’ll be able to be found/indexed/reviewed as with current virtual representations of the entities, the difference will be the added dimensions of space, location and time – having the real object in front of you where you are when you want it. Imagine typing “I’m thirsty” into a mobile location based social networking site like Shizzow & having the Coke/Samsung vending machine introducing itself, telling you it’s only a block away and that it will give you 20% off on of a Mother drink if you make it there in the next 20 minutes…

Collaboration

It’s also great to see collaboration between an FMCG and brown good company, a sign of the growing openness of data and business. Pioneers like Google & Ask have shown big-business that collaboration is extremely important and will become increasingly essential to company success. Look to see more companies become bed-fellows, creating win-win solutions leading to innovative outcomes – such as the Coke/Samsung vending machine.

The new creative frontier… DATA???

 

Using data in unique ways can garnish incredible communications.  Below are three examples of the newest creative art form… data management (who would have thought).

Nikon Connect 

Creative brief: show people how Nikon can connect them. Idea: let people create a light painting that links to other people’s paintings around the world. Result: beautiful, highly engaging and gets the message across. My only beef is that there’s a corny “Your voice and Nikon” message at the end of the light painting process. I guess it’s inevideble for any client work considering the branding on the site is subtle overall, the agency has done a great job in keeping site usability.

 

Sprint 3G network

Possibly the biggest data-kick-to-the-face I’ve ever seen. I’d be interested where Sprint is getting all their data feeds from and the validity of the data, but either way there’s hours of fun interacting with this crazy widget.

 

We feel fine

The only example that hasn’t been funded by a brand. A completely unique tool that collects and displays “emotions” in amazing ways. The site aggregates any sentence published on a blog (scanning the web every 2-3 mins) that contains the words, “I feel” or“I am feeling”.  To find out more see the creator’s TED talk here.

Conclusion

 The key to all of the above pieces of work is that the end result is about how the user interacts with the data. The creative therefore becomes purely a platform for users to interact with interesting data however they chose. 

 

 

New clouds on the horizon

No… I’m not talking about economic uncertainty, rather some new entries into the ever increasing universe of cloudware.

At Macworld, Apple announced that it would be taking Google Docs head on with its own release of iWork cloud, now in Beta. Unfortunately, the initial launch will not allow for any editing capabilities. 

Microsoft is also set to launch their version of cloudware.

With reports such as the recent one by Forrester of cloud email being significantly the cheapest option for companies and the raising concern of ROI in these economic times, cloudware proliferation will continue. It’s just a matter of time before they are incorporated as general practice by company executives. In the meantime it is up to the masses to educate companies on the significant benefits, including cost-savings that the services enable.

Another step towards semantic for Google

Google’s timeline tool, previously in experimental beta is now appearing in search queries.

The timeline tool ads further context to search queries allowing people to dig through results with more ease.

Jesus tries to celebrate

It’s the big J’s birthday… and he’s not happy.

Visit My Party is Nigh for the full downlow and the ability to join Big J on FaceBook, MySpace & YouTube.

Add this to your social media tool kit

facebooWant to compare age, gender or geographic information of Facebook users for an upcoming presentation? AllFacebook, the unofficial Facebook blog has just realsed a handy widget that does it for you.