Tag Archives: google

Instant Quote for Used Phone…Enabled by QR Codes

Everyone has seen adverts for these companies, the model obviously proves profitable. Old smartphones can be traded in, for money, to be recycled. These companies make money, the consumer makes money and the phones do not end up straight in the landfill. However the process is not flawless, the companies like to view the phones before they pay money for them and consumers are easily put off by such obstacles. This means that only around 10% ever get recycled in such a manner.

So what is the solution? QR Codes of course. American company MaxBack has released a QR Code which, when scanned, assesses the phone and makes an instant offer. This clever use of the QR Code works in several ways. Firstly its entire target audience has smartphones so can scan the device, secondly it is self selecting. If someone has a smartphone which is so run down it will no longer scan a QR Code then it cannot get the offer. Finally it means that when someone sends their phone off they can do so with a good awareness of what they will receive in return.

So don’t get bogged down in the numerous terrible uses of QR Codes, embrace those who do the technology justice! For more information on our Mobile Barcode Reading SDK check out our website.


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QR Codes vs. Digital Signage: but should they be compared?

I have been exploring the uses of QR Codes for a while and it seems clear that they offer huge advantages, especially for small businesses. With the minimal set up costs and ease of implication it is an easy step to take. However the manner in which they are used is still widely variable.

Reading an article comparing the use of QR Codes vs. Digital Signage for small businesses set me thinking, should they be compared at all? The only similarity is the ease with which the content can be changed, but a QR Code should not simply be replacing the job of what a chalkboard can do. With the extra hassle of finding the application on the phone and waiting for the content to load it is simply not comparable in that sense. QR Codes are a brilliant way to bridge the gap between physical and online spheres, but only where that is desirable.

For example a small shop should not keep a list of in-store special offers on a webpage accessible through a QR Code, its just hassle for everyone. However if you wish to encourage webtraffic and want to shift stock online QR Codes are a perfect way to channel interest.

Want to explore what barcode reading can do for your business, check out our range of SDKs for various platforms or our ready-to-use application on our website.

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Mobile Giants Battle over Barcode Patents

We have all heard recently of the patent battles raging between Samsung and Apple; Samsung now have to pay huge sums of money to Apple. This is nothing new and seems to have become a rather ugly side to the world of business where legal departments do battle. Aside from the fact that a patent should be an ‘unintuitive’ step, which most of their patents for ’rounded edges’ are not, it means that the consumer loses out. Less choice and higher prices seem to be the inevitable outcome.

However the patents that companies are battling over does show clues as to the future of mobiles technology. With this in mind I have been very interested to see in the news patents for mobile barcode technology being awarded to the large mobile companies. They appear to be mainly related to capabilities for enhanced shopping experiences where you can scan a barcode to add something to your shopping list. This is not a new concept with Tesco including it within their mobile shopping app quite a while a go. This point aside, though, it is clear that the expansion of barcode enabled mobile shopping is going to arrive.

If you want to get ahead of the game with mobile barcode technology then check out our website.

Where do you see mobile barcode technology going?


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London Olympics – Reflections on the Games and Future Legacy

So the London Olympics have come to an end, and sadly I have been beaten. No, I was not competing, and neither did I get fed up of it, quite the opposite. As I settled in to watch the opening ceremony the cynic within was ready to start lampooning the cheap efforts to replicate Beijing’s extravagance. However I found myself enjoying a great evening of entertainment (almost patriotic!) and have not looked back for the past sixteen days. If I’m not at work or out on my bike then I’ve been firmly parked infront of the box shouting and screaming in support of the South Korean Handball team or a Grenadian sprinter. As a company we all sadly missed out on tickets to the games, such was the demand, but we did make it to some of the free stuff. The ‘training team’ we sponsor were there to cheer on Team GB in the men’s road race, although that particular event didn’t go to plan the dominance of GB on two wheels has been a highlight of the Olympics for us (especially after Wiggo’s win at the Tour). 

This last week I have been working in Edinburgh where another of Britain’s great events is held, the Fringe Comedy Festival. I had read many articles talking of the Olympics damaging the festival but there was no sign of that, the city was as packed as ever during the festival month. The city centre a constant crowd of different nationalities and people flyering. The BBC had erected 2 huge screens in the centre where you could enjoy a drink and watch the sport alongside a huge enthusiastic crowd. Even better, the sun was out, in Scotland! A great evening was spent with a Gin and Tonic watching the 200m final with the Jamaican clean sweep. There was also time to get out into the hills with some of the Softek Software training team, and the hills around Edinburgh do not disappoint!

So as a business based near London, but experiencing the Olympics across the UK, all I can say is it has been brilliant. Too often the UK seems in the news for negative reasons and as a company dealing internationally it can knock the image and consequently sales. However in the wake of this event British business should have a new confidence in the world market. Maybe we no longer have the overwhelming muscle now enjoyed by China, and reflected in their Olympics, but we can deliver a good job which most importantly will last the test of time. It astonished me that London 2012 is the first games to have an emphasis on legacy, no throw away lavish celebrations but an attempt to ‘inspire a generation’. This is a great image to share with the world and to associate with Britain, quality which will last for centuries not just a quick short term success.

I will end this post before I get too misty eyed, after all the world goes on and we have the Vuelta Espana to get excited about next. What was your lasting impression of the games? Is this a fair reflection or is it seen differently from around the world? For more reflection check out this report card from Yahoo USA.



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QR Codes From Space: Advertising Efficiency

So we’ve all been there, checking out what the company offices of somewhere we have to visit looks like on good earth; don’t want to get lost on the way to an important meeting. However without going into streetview company offices have very little present, for obvious reasons they were never designed to be seen from above!

Might have to Zoom in!

Phillips and Co’ however have come up with a new idea, which they call ‘blue marble’. The will paint a giant QR Code on the roof of your building to enable those who stumble upon your building on maps to find out more about your business, or maybe it could simply contain directions for those needing them. Either way it is taking a large portion of unused and very cheap advertising space and efficiently using it.

Don’t expect instant returns however, it has been noted that it takes about a year sometimes for these to show up on Google Earth. This though should not be a problem long term since QR Codes can point to a stable URL which can they have the content updated, so don’t be put off!

So yes, this may be a bit of a gimmick, but at the right price it certainly is a novel way of helping people reach your business and more importantly, remember your business. What do you think?


For more information on barcode readers check out our website.

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Merry Christmas and Cars Reading Barcodes

As this is probably to be the last blog post before Christmas it seemed only correct to wish our readers a Merry Christmas. If you are having any issues whiling away those last few hours then here is our festive QR Code… sorry no exciting colours sadly.

Scan Me!

Scan Me!

In other news it appears Google, who had stopped work with QR Codes to concentrate on NFC technology, have developed one of the most expensive barcode readers around; a self driving car! This news story which appeared last week describes how barcodes could be used to inform the car of precisely where it is, obviously quite important for a car let loose to drive itself. The issue arises due to the fact that GPS can sometimes only have an accuracy of around 9 metres which is probably about the width of many roads. Probably a little too margin for error!

The obvious benefit of the QR Code in this situation is its ability to encode a large amount of data, wouldn’t require a database to be linked to it and the reliability of the read you will get from it. Although I personally feel that new technology for cars without making them radically more fuel efficient is likely to end in ruin this is a fascinating project and I look forward to seeing where it goes.

So Merry Christmas all and stay tuned for exciting news and announcements!


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A Step Beyond?

I have recently seen several news items talking of google’s new image search tool which they have aptly named goggles. The basic concept is that you can take a photo of an object and through the ‘goggles’ application it gets sent to the google servers which process the image and identify what it finds in the image; then returning relevant results.

Well known landmarks, artwork or products on a store shelves are apparently now no problem for the software. Although the application does also look for barcodes in order to help identify objects does this not surpass barcode technology. Results currently take 1-2 seconds to return, which in many situations is too long, but in the future could barcodes be replaced by machines which simply identify what they see rather than relying on a particular code.

This day may well be decades off, recognising the Eiffel Tower or a can of Coke is one thing but to separate documents or see whether the shopper is buying Organic or Non-Organic broccoli is likely a step to far.  However with the current trend for QR codes in advertising it is not infeasible to suggest that eventually a picture of an advert, with no barcode, could return a webpage when snapped with a mobile since it would only take google linking an image into their database.

So is a project like Google Goggles (love the name) a sign of what is coming or simply a gimmick?

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