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Welcome to the World of Open QR Codes

ScanLife was launched in Beta in 2008.  At the time, cameras were terrible, and we had a perfect answer to bring 2D codes to millions of phones.  The answer was in the form of the EZcode which is an awesome solution, but it had one stigma – proprietary.  While marketers and publishers loved the technology, we quickly realized that they did not love it’s limitation of reach (only compatible with the ScanLife app).

So, in 2009, we made the specs available for the EZcode, but more importantly added open source QR Codes to our platform and to our application.  Since that time, the world of open source mobile barcode scanning has exploded.  The ScanLife platform has generated tens of thousands of open QR Codes which can be read by any standard app.  Therefore, we are seeing millions of scans per month and seeing 4x growth versus 2010.  Clearly this was the path forward for both marketers and users.

This week, Microsoft Tag made their decision to enter the world of open standards – almost 3 years after their product was launched.  We applaud this decision, and only wish they saw the light sooner.  In that time, consumers and publishers have been unnecessarily confused by a closed code format which only works with a single app.  We believe more open QR Codes will only mean more value to both end users and the businesses that use them to connect the physical world.

We know for a fact that code publishers choose “open” because the most important thing is reach.  Scanbuy just conducted an online survey among marketers, and the numbers speak for themselves (more details soon):

  • 85% agreed that audience size is critical when choosing a 2D code solution (ranked highest of any feature listed)
  • 73% of those using codes today are open code formats which ScanLife already offers (QR, Datamatrix, or EZcode) with QR Code being the most popular of any format.

The world of 2D codes will continue to evolve and we believe the best way for that to happen is by building from an open source symbology or “gateway.”  What you can do from that gateway is endless, and a managed platform (like ScanLife) can help harness that potential by using real time data, dynamic code actions and mobile formatted content.

Open is good, open is powerful.  Now let’s work together to unleash it’s full potential.

  • Filed under: General, Marketing, Trends

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    Mobile barcodes have changed the way we discover & share information from the world around us. We welcome your thoughts & ideas on how to make this technology matter - today and in the future.


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