Scan vs Rip

Real Simple magazine is now using Microsoft GetTag’s for online/mobile access to some of their articles.

I hadn’t heard any mention of Microsoft’s QR code competitor for a couple years now. Which means the chances of finding a reader for the Nokia N900 is…

Last time I encountered the technology /
(Microsoft technology * Obscure open source platform) =

Thing is – I don’t even know if my search for a reader would have been worth it. There’s no way to know if this digital version would be anything more than a cute novelty.

In my brief experience with QR Codes – there’s a 95% chance they simply decode to a URL – rather than actually decoding to the source text – say like an ingredient list.

The (seemingly) most useful QR code powered application is this subway grocery store from Tesco Korea.

It’s definitely a great story. Though, I’m not sure of the etiquette surrounding “shopping” on a crowded subway platform.

So, since I couldn’t find a getTag scanner, Jen tore the page out of the magazine (mobile & pocket sized!) and I downloaded the EEG Brainscanning app for the N900

Fair warning, if it looks like we’re taking your picture – we just might be scanning your brain. Muhahahahahhah

Why Can’t Smart Phones Read?

I’ve been investigating useful uses for QR codes and while I’ve got a couple…they still feel rather flimsy. Like the QR Code is being used as a cute novelty – rather than a way to enhance communication.

QR Codes are inherently temporary (as in, tomorrow a better encoding technology will exist and today’s readers aren’t future proof). People can’t read QR Codes. Only machines can. Text has a much longer lifespan. It’s more portable and more usable. In most cases the QR Code is linking to a URL or a short snippet of text anyway, so…..

Why can’t smartphones just read the text?

Rather than pointing your mobile device’s camera at a fugly barcode – what if you pointed it at a written out URL. The camera recognized it and asked you want you wanted to do w/ it (visit, send, save, copy).

Mobile OCR projects exist: