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Cell C, in conjunction with BeeTagg Pro, have announced a major push into usingQuick Response (QR) technology with a new service dubbed Cell C Photocode. With PhotoCode, users can take a photo of a QR code using their mobile phones, which then opens a link to further information stored in the QR code. According to Cell C CEO Lars Reichert, this new technology “enables inanimate matter to come to life”.
QR codes, according to Wikipedia, are most commonly used to “store addresses and URLs which may appear in magazines, on signs, buses, business cards, or just about any object that users might need information about. Users with a camera phone equipped with the correct reader application can scan the image of the QR Code to display text, contact information, connect to a wireless network, or open a web page in the phone’s browser.”
Cell C says that with a little imagination the potential uses of PhotoCodes are endless:
- You notice an ad for an upcoming gig by a local music star and the PhotoCode printed alongside it allows you to download one of their tracks as a ringtone.
- You are attending an exclusive new event and a PhotoCode gives you the password to the VIP area.
- You are in the Cell C store and by snapping a picture of a PhotoCode you can find out all there is to know about any product on the shelves.
While the developed world is already comfortable with the use of QR codes in conjunction with a new generation of mobile phones, South Africa has lagged behind in the uptake of this dynamic and useful technology.
QR codes are two-dimensional bar codes created by Japanese corporation Denso-Wave in 1994.They were originally intended for tracking parts in vehicle manufacturing, but were rapidly adopted by other industries who saw the potential for hardlinking information using QR codes.
Reichelt is confident that PhotoCode will unlock a host of new experiences for customers and says that new applications are being devised almost daily. “All customers have to do is download the PhotoCode reader, then point and snap,” he says.
Media partners such as You, Huisgenoot, People, Sunday Times, 5FM, Multichoice and Oppikoppi will be amongst the first media outlets to introduce the technology to South African users before it is rolled out widely to restaurants and various other retailers.