Tag Archives: app

Corporate Responsibility and Compliance

Compliance is big business these days, ensuring that your business is showing the appropriate level of responsibility is key to safeguarding the companies future. However this is easier said than done. Tracking where your products are going and who is using them is possible though, and has many more applications than simply compliance; it also lets you target marketing and resources more effectively.

Barcodes are ideal for such a task. Their implementation is incredibly cheap and straight forward. This has led the home ministry in India to seek detonators, which are largely produced in the private sector, to be barcoded so they can be traced. With political extremism and terrorism a big issue they want to be able to trace where detonators have come from.

But don’t think that just becuase you don’t work in a sector involved with terrorism or high level explosives that this is not relevant to you. If you want to ensure that your products are being sold by the people you choose to represent your corporate image it is worth making sure you can trace your goods.

For more information on barcode reading applications of Software Development Kits check out our website.

Jack

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QR Codes in History

A commission by the Scottish government for a tapestry has raised eyebrows this week as it has been revealed that they plan to include QR Codes within the tapestry. This will enable smart phone users to scan the codes and find out more about the scenes depicted. A bold move which will undoubtedly leave many recoiling in horror, but is it really that bad?

Firstly if it gets a few young people more engaged with the topic (Scottish Diaspora) of each panel then that is better than a tapestry without QR Codes which no one understands as well. Secondly as a historical item maybe it will give a better reflection of our time than a more traditional tapestry. Smart phones and QR Codes are part of how we now interact with media and the world at large, so why shouldn’t they be included in such objects?

The proof will really be in how much the QR Codes are used. This though shouldn’t be a problem to register. Unlike most forms of information/advertising where only a rough guess at the number of views a leaflet has got can be made QR Codes allow for very clear statistics; including time spent on the page with the information.

So I guess time will tell what we should make of this move but it certainly will attract some headlines.

Jack

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Mooving Forward – Cows and QR Codes

When I heard that a cow had gone viral I thought this could be no good thing; I’m not vet but memories of foot and mouth loom large. However this time it is all fun and games as a dairy cow has had a QR Codes painted on her side as a web link to ‘her’ blog. The blog contains details of her daily routine, which is interesting even if a little unsurprising.

The cow is not just a very talented self publicist but is part of a campaign by the UK Dairy Industry to raise their profile. Although personally I preferred it when they sponsored ‘The Milk Race’ – the UKs ‘equivalent’ of the Tour de France.

A Quirky Innovation

I don’t have much of an opinion on this but since this is a blog and banal opinions seem the order of the day when I get going I will share one with you anyway. This is a clever stunt and has made several news sources, maybe on a slow news day but still it does the job. However the really clever bit is in just how cheap it is, QR Codes are generated for free and then the programme to read them is also free (such as ours for android!). Just make sure you aren’t paying millions to a marketing agency before you start since it really is very simple.

Let me know you thoughts,

Jack

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Optimizing Income: QR Codes

If there is one industry which has to continually innovate it is the charity sector; often the first to feel the hit of an economic downturn as people feel they can be less generous with their hard earned cash. Therefore they are always quick adopters of new technology to optimise their income, the less money spent publicising the more money they can reserve for the real work.

In recent years the Salvation Army and homeless charity Simon on the Street, among others, have used QR Codes to direct people to an optimised payment page where a donation can be made. So if someone simply has no cash on them it is no problem for the collectors! What is more QR Codes take almost no investment to introduce, they are easily made for free and only cost as much as the paper they are printed on.

It is also worth remembering that the application required on smart phones for reading the QR Codes is freely available and most owners have such technology. We have our own freely available QR Code reader available for Android Phones which can be found on Google Play.

Fore more information on QR Codes check out our knowledge base.

Jack

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Softek Cycling Project

Those who follow us on twitter may be aware here as Softek we are a cycling mad bunch. Whether its a sneaky office bike ride on a quiet day or turning on the Giro d’Italia finish on an afternoon in the office, we love it. Therefore when the opportunity has come along to sponsor the kit of a small cycling team starting up in Edinburgh we couldn’t pass up on the opportunity. Although starting right at the bottom we look forward to seeing what they can achieve, and we’ll share the kit and results on here as they arrive!

So although we may not be about to hit the big time cycling world this is exciting stuff for Softek Software, keep an eye out for them on the roads and news on their progress here!

More info soon!

Jack

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The North Face Facing the Future

If you are a shopper of North Face stores in the US then you can now use their iphone app. This allows you to scan the barcode of products in store to receive real time information on sizing and colours in stock. This makes sense; rather than having to find a staff member and ask them to look, which is often inefficient, this instantly lets you know what is available. Early adoption by companies such as The North Face is a big leap of faith but the vast improvement it can offer customers in their shopping experience is likely to pay dividends. Shoppers, as humans, tend to take the path of least resistance so anything to make it easier is going to drive sales.

The only issue with this scheme is how specific it is. Firstly it only works North Face stores, perfect if that is where you always shop but if you are just popping in it will take longer to download the app and scan the barcode than simply asking the staff. This could be a big problem with adoption. Secondly it is only available for iPhone, with the widespread use of android this instantly wipes out a large portion of the smart phone market. (check out our mobile SDK though… it includes iphone AND android at no extra cost!)

Therefore long term maybe we will see retailers setting a standard for such a system, so that a single application may service an entire shopping centre or even every large retailer across a country.

Jack

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Mobile Money Network: Completing the Circle

The Mobile Money Network, owned by the Carphone Warehouse, is a mobile payment system. Along the same lines as Google Wallet and Paypal’s mobile payment system. Within the next year their aim is to have several hundred big companies using the network in advertising campaigns. This is where a fundamental change could occur in the use of QR Codes in adverts.

Currently it is too often the case that QR Codes in a glossy magazine simply takes you to more rubbish information about a product you already know you are interested in. However with the Mobile Money Network the plan is to link these QR Codes to instant purchase pages. Although security fears surrounding QR Codes have been raised in the past, with people able to put their own link over the top with ease, this should solve the problem; an application such as this will be able to verify that it is a proper authenticated product.

It will be interesting then to see how this develops. Big names such as Thorntons, HMV and Debenhams are reportedly considering adopting the scheme. Only time will tell whether this is a viable option but if they find an effective way to link it to peoples bank accounts (e.g. without having to top up another account regularly) then it could catch on. Only time will tell.

Jack

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Affordable Innovations

I have written about several uses of QR Codes being implemented on signs to deliver more information, whether it be on tourist routes in Cornwall or bus stops in Leeds. The latest place to go along this route is the tidal road which gives access to Holy Island. It was only last year that a couple had to abandon their hire car after getting caught out by the tides. Although a sign clearly states ‘Do not proceed when water reaches causeway’ to the layman it could be a big ask to establish when is too close.

The solution has been to introduce new signs using QR Codes to link travellers to the latest information required. The other alternative which was cited in this case was an electronic board which would advise drivers on whether it is safe; although clearly an effective option it is often prohibitively expensive. Therefore when it comes to delivering the most up to date and advanced information possible to locations which are either too remote or numerous for heavy investment a QR Code is able to achieve similar results at the fraction of the price.

The obvious flaw here is that not everyone owns a smart phone capable of utilising such information. However where the alternative is no information QR Codes clearly have an important role to play. Want to integrate barcode reading into your application? Check out our website!

Jack

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QR Codes Bringing Back Reality

It seems technology has got many cities into a situation where it is accepted to drive anywhere and people think nothing of getting the car out to drive round the corner. However technology does not have to simply lead to evermore laziness.

A ‘tactical urbanism’ project in Raleigh, America, where citizens take issues into their own hands to improve the city has met with huge success. Putting up signs around the city informing people how long it takes to walk to other various parts of town, complete with QR Code for directions, were so professionally done everyone assumed they were part of an official campaign.

This is the perfect use of QR Code technology to tap into the lives of people who have grown to rely on technology and have probably turned off from other sources. Furthermore the reason people drive is that they probably don’t have to think about it, and a QR Code with directions is able to make the decision to walk that much easier.

Therefore while this is clearly just a small step it is definitely something worth applauding. For more information see the Washington Post website here.

If you are interested in integrating barcodes into your project then checkout our website here.

Jack

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Quality QR Code Reading

QR Codes are big business, there is no avoiding them. Just look at this blog which theoretically is about all types of barcodes but the show is stolen by the QR Code. There is simply just more news about them.

Therefore when it was decided they should be added to our SDK and applications we realised it would have to be good. Now it has been around for a few months we are confident we have one of the best QR Code reading systems around. Although the huge redundancy in QR Codes does make them an efficient read this is often taken out by the marketing people, impressed by the amount the barcode can be messed around with. However as feedback continues to come in from customers we believe ours is working very well.

Quality QR Code Reading

One customer has noted the ability of our software to read however the code has been scanned “Straight or crooked; copy , fax or original… It’s really good.”

But don’t take our word for it, or theirs, you can try it today for free! We have a free application available through google play or you can download it from our website for mobile platforms, windows, OS and linux.

We would love to hear what you think so get in touch!

Jack

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