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« Great IdeasAnd Rick got the Pink slip! »

Microsoft Tag, the 'barcode' for the rest of us

  • By: Qwaider

  • On:Saturday, February 07, 2009 2:33:27 PM
  • In:Thoughts
  • Viewed: (4613) times

    • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
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    Rated 4.5/5 stars (76 votes cast)

    I don't quite often say this, but this is one fantastic new idea straight from the highly esteemed Microsoft research. I played with it today and I fell in love with it. Microsoft tag. One awesome new way to reduce the typing. Reduce the look-up and just get things to "Just work"

    Here's how it works. Consider what those ugly bar-codes did for merchandise and Point of sale (POS) locations? Now wouldn't be AWESOME if you could have a bar-code reader for everything out there so you would, know it's price, read a little bit more about it, check the prices online, read a review about it or just get the recall history on it?

    Well, the problem with Bar-codes is that they were optimized for laser scanners. They work FANTASTIC like that, but if you tried to use any image processing with them. These appear to be failing with the bar-code.

    The solution? Bar-code 2.0, also known as Microsoft Tag, and guess what. IT'S FREE, and OPEN to the public. You can create your own Tags, display them on your sign, you business cards or whatever. And they will say whatever you want them to say! Now seriously, THAT'S COOL! I just made one for This blog, just point your phone here:

     mstag
    I know it looks like Donkey Kong on a ColecoVision from the 1980's.
    But I think (hope) there is a good explanation for the ugly CYM scheme colors

    Now here's coolness 2.0. Microsoft is providing the software for phones also for free. I counted Windows Mobile, iPhone, Symbian, Blackberry, Java J2ME, PalmOS and even the new Android among the phone OSes supporting the new technology. Let me tell you, this is just FANTASTIC!

    The fact that you can just go here and create your own tag that would act as a vCard, a Weblink, Some text (like a logo or something) or a dialer where you point and it would dial. Is just fantastic.

    Imagine being at the bus stop, and instead of reaching to grab a booklet for the routs, you swipe the Tag! Or at a restaurant, or on the web, at a toy store. Just swiping that tag and you have all the information that you need

    Best part is, all you need is a phone that has a built in Camera and voila! You're set!

    Another fantastic feature is that the new service provides analytic services. They show you statistics on who checked out your tag, and how many users have done that so far. Pretty neat!

    Go ahead, try it. Or at least, install the application to your phones, you never know when you end up at a foreign airport and you see that tag. It will be the most beautiful sight to any lost person

    Other Memories Documented on February 07
    « Great IdeasAnd Rick got the Pink slip! »

    Memories....

    • #1
    • KJ
    • Windows Chrome  Browser
    • Said
    • On: 2/7/2009 12:57:08 PM
    • SpamScore=[0.82]
    cool!

    your website raped my cell phone
    • #2
    • Moey
    • Apple Mac Firefox Browser
    • Said
    • On: 2/7/2009 2:48:49 PM
    • SpamScore=[-1.04]
    Not bad, ugly graphics still.
    • #3
    • subzero
    • Windows Chrome  Browser
    • Said
    • On: 2/7/2009 5:46:42 PM
    • SpamScore=[0.86]

    This "idea" is already WIDELY applied in Japan. I was gonna blog about just this weekend.

    Ofcourse, the same principle with different mechanism.
    As appears in this link: http://www.vs.inf.ethz.ch/res/proj/visualcodes/

    This bar code appears every where. Magazines, newspapers, even online on websites. Heck, even at the end of the lecture at Tokyo Uni the professor puts one of them on the last slide, and using our mobiles we take a photo to confirm and register our attendance!!! Its like magic.

    Ofcourse, MS entering this field means rapid upgrading and wider districution. Hopefully no RRoD or BSoD accompanied with this one.

    • #4
    • Qwaider
    • Windows Internet Explorer
    • Said
    • On: 2/7/2009 6:45:03 PM
    • SpamScore=[-39.43]
    KJ
    Go make one for your site too :), place it on your business card ;-)

    Moey,
    So you're going to make that your next tattoo? Imagine it on a T-Shirt, where people scan it, and land on Blouzat site or something like that!
    By the way, Starbucks are considering adding these to their cups so people can scan them while drinking and read all sort of trivia, like, calorie intake, ingredients, nutrition facts, import sources, and in Jordan, "How Starbucks is not affiliated with Israel". Ok, that last part is a joke, but the rest is real :)


    Subzero
    I've seen those, and I've seen several renditions of them (by UPS and Fedex) both have higher resolution than the one you added. But the problem with ALL of these is that they were created with laser scanners in mind. Not crappy little 0.3Mega pixel phone cameras that is smudged with finger prints, and lint from your pockets
    This new and colorful tag was designed to overcome this problem. Man my phone could recognize it so fast, I couldn't believe my eyes when it did. It was fast, and in all my tests 100% accurate

    Frankly, I don't care which standard wins, as much as I care for this technology to actually get implemented and widely used. It's very helpful (as per the uses that you have indicated)
    • #5
    • Dave
    • Apple Mac Firefox Browser
    • Said
    • On: 2/7/2009 7:17:00 PM
    • SpamScore=[-0.41]
    They really could have made it a bit better looking.  Despite the benefits, I'd hate to see that thing plastered all over everything.  It looks like it was designed in the 80's.  Perhaps Apple should get in on it in order to make it a little more appealing to the eyes. ;)
    • #6
    • Qwaider
    • Windows Internet Explorer
    • Said
    • On: 2/7/2009 7:27:38 PM
    • SpamScore=[-39.47]
    You know dave? Since I had some time to sleep on it. I think the idea is pretty damn simple, and I think anyone can do it
    Here's how it works (I think)
    A central service associates GUIDS with 2D tags
    Another database probably contains GUIDs associated with "data"
    So when you scan it, your phone recognizes it and sends the guid to the server, which responds with the "data"

    I think anyone can do this. But the more players, the worse the end result. So I hope someone with enough power and governance to actually step in and regulate this. If it's going to catch up, it needs that

    As for the colors, I'm not sure why they picked that. They do look like they're from the CGA era. But I'm positive there's a good reason for it!
    • #7
    • Dave
    • Apple Mac Firefox Browser
    • Said
    • On: 2/7/2009 7:37:42 PM
    • SpamScore=[-0.43]
    On a more serious note (other than the color scheme), after checking out the web site, I realize that this is one of Microsoft's beta pet projects.  In other words, one of their creative groups was given a small budget, some web space, and a filming crew to help them put together another bad Microsoft promotional video, all in HOPES that this idea would take off.  If precedence is anything to consider, hopeful technology like this will make a small splash that will last a couple of months and then fizzle out, only to be picked up later by a corporation that is willing to lay it all out there and run with it.
    • #8
    • Qwaider
    • Windows Internet Explorer
    • Said
    • On: 2/8/2009 4:37:48 AM
    • SpamScore=[-48.51]
    I'm just happy this is not the case with XBOX :) I find that as one of the best technologies that came out of Microsoft, even though profits have been modest on that front. Same goes for Windows Mobile.
    But in all fairness, if you are carrying a losing industry just because you started it, then that doesn't make good business sense

    But would you care to remind me of these technologies that fizzled out? I can't remember anything other than that annoying little paper-clip in word.
    • #9
    • Dave
    • Apple Mac Firefox Browser
    • Said
    • On: 2/8/2009 5:07:13 AM
    • SpamScore=[-0.45]
    I was referring to things like Surface, Songsmith, and similar pet projects that seem to lack all of Microsoft's company drive.
    • #10
    • Qwaider
    • Windows Internet Explorer
    • Said
    • On: 2/8/2009 6:38:40 AM
    • SpamScore=[-39.52]
    Surface is still coming and I SOOOOOOOOOOO want one! I last saw it being used to cover the elections and the NFL. I'm sure to get one when they're first released. But I doubt they'll come out before windows 7 with touch "stuff" is released

    As for songsmith. Well, it's a big hit in the comedy circles :)
    • #11
    • KJ
    • Windows Chrome  Browser
    • Said
    • On: 2/8/2009 8:38:38 AM
    • SpamScore=[-0.04]
    I should have a business card first :P for a contractor I sure do lack sell-yourself-skills

    Perhaps I can design a retro card to go with the tag. And put a pixelated megaman (as if he was anything but pixelated) on it. That would be awesome!
    You too can have your Memories Documented

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