Posting a video on a cereal box?

22 Aug

Google came up with another way of connecting the online to the offline – the QR code. Good thing they are slightly recovering from bad publicity caused by those bikes. What, then, is a QR code?

A QR Code is a matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code), readable by QR scanners, mobiles phones with camera, and smartphones. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on white background. The information encoded can be text, URL or other data.

It’s this:

Google's QR Code

If you have a camera phone and a QR scanner installed in it (you can download the software online depending on your phone model), you can scan the image above using your phone’s camera. It will take you then to google.com. Amazing, right?

How did Google creatively use this technology to get Netizens hooked up? They came up with this:

Gel-O 4: Stop by Offline, Explore Online

Favorite Places by Google

Google started an offline and online program centered around identifying the most sought-after places in the US by sending over 100,000 store owners decals with QR codes in them. These decals are meant to be put in store windows and glass doors where people can see them, scan the codes, and know more about the establishment.

Once the code is scanned, your phone will show you details about the establishment as well as reviews by other customers. You can also post your own review after visiting the establishment. What’s even greater is that you can get coupons exclusive to QR users!

example of what you will see after scanning the barcode

Now, why QR codes are promising social media tools:

what stickybits wants - make barcodes social

They are like real world tags. And they’re starting to become social. Thanks to companies like StickyBits.

You can attach anything to the scanned barcode – pictures, videos, music, pdfs, zip files, anything! Other people will see what you have uploaded upon scanning the same barcode. You can get notifications whenever someone posts content in the barcode you scanned, or when the barcode changes location! And it works with ANY barcode! Yes, any barcode.

It’s literally bringing the tag function out in the offline world – you can see who’s tagged, what others are saying about the tagged content, and tag other content too! StickyBits is starting the trend in “social scanning.” Facebook, watch out. This is something more exciting.

Although in our case, the social scanning trend might have to wait, since not all people here in the Philippines own phones with software that can scan QR codes (like smartphones, iPhones, and Androids).

But this remains to be an insight we should not ignore – there are a lot of taken-for-granted things we can integrate with social media. It only needs a certain level of being creative and tech savvy, plus a little more time observing the activities in the offline world. Who would’ve thought that those geeky barcodes can become social, right? That tagging can go out of the screen and into our cereal boxes? The industry needs more geniuses who can think like the developers of this technology – those who can make social networking obsolete, social scanning a trend, and social *insert anything crazy here* a reality.

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8 Responses to “Posting a video on a cereal box?”

  1. dreamsanddoodles August 23, 2010 at 2:22 pm #

    Hi gel!

    I know this! They tried to bring this to the Philippines but it didn’t work out here. They pre-tested this technology in the MRT where you can buy a ticket using a barcode picture on your cellphone. The procedures were quite complicated so many people didn’t understand it. They eventually terminated the installation of this system because it didn’t “click”. I think it would’ve worked if they improved the PR on the product.

    • Gel August 23, 2010 at 10:38 pm #

      Yes. Perhaps StickyBits’ attempt to make social tagging look easy is a huge step. I also don’t like the idea of putting these in train stations. The Philippines is still a third world country. And people here don’t just accept new technologies, especially if they require complex work and high-end gadgets. It’s just the wrong target people. Perhaps introducing this technology first to more tech-savvy people will open our gates to social tagging (yuppies for example). πŸ™‚

      • slightlydillydallying September 19, 2010 at 7:42 pm #

        Can I butt in your intellectual exchange with Diane F.? πŸ™‚ Well, pretesting this particular technology in MRT is a mistargeted strategy. They should’ve tried integrating this system in stores patronized by the elite (similar to those I see in Midtown). Not to discriminate though but let’s be realistic, right Gel? πŸ™‚

      • Gel September 19, 2010 at 8:27 pm #

        Yes I agree. The technology can work here, but the attempts should be more targeted. πŸ™‚ I hope that those elite store owners will find this blog. It would surely be a click to the upper classes. πŸ™‚

      • Patsy October 2, 2010 at 11:36 pm #

        The fact that it requires an iPhone app to work makes it available only to yuppies and wannabes (who comprise a very small percent of our population), and it means immediate tech-launch failure in the Philippine. I think it’s best to launch this with expensive brands in the Philippines first rather than straight to the masses. This idea of connecting online and offline is amazing as there are some things in the real world that you can’t do online. Coke had a similar buzz before and it was awesome (as seen on their video). Even though Coke is already an established brand and need not to put up gimmicks. I appreciate their effort in adhering to their company values of happiness in a can/bottle and keeping us intrigues with what Coke will come up with next.

  2. What Does That Mean? September 29, 2010 at 7:08 pm #

    Cool! Now you can stay away from the ill-mannered employees of establishments– those who do not know how to talk with customers, public.

  3. chocostraws October 2, 2010 at 7:50 pm #

    I’ve heard of this before but I’m not fully aware of this until I read your blog. This is definetly something to watch out for.

    On my part, I think social scanning will be potential touch point for connecting in the future. Who will need to upload in youtube when we can share files via scanning?

    Coffee shops, beware. You’re use of wi-fi to fool people into buying your expensive coffees may not work in the future,if China will invest in creating bar code scanning phones.

  4. lstea October 2, 2010 at 8:56 pm #

    I first encountered QR-codes while stalking on various Japanese sites. You know me and my weird preferences. ^_~

    It does look promising but this won’t work in the Philippines just yet. I think we need to wait a few more years when almost everyone uses a mobile phone with a decent camera and home internet access percentage has increased significantly. Introducing this, however, will apparently lead to another problem since a common problem I see when a new technology/system/process is introduced in our country, there is an obvious lack of effort to make the people understand.

    My learning from this: While there are good upgrades or new technologies out there, the important thing is that the people know what it’s for and have a complete grasp on how it will work for their benefit.

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