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Microsoft launches Windows Live Barcode Beta

November 4, 2006
Microsoft has swung into the fray with 2d code scanning by launching Windows Live Barcode Beta. At the moment the site has some introduction information about what can be done with mobile scannable codes such as the QR Code technology. They have setup two QR Code generators, one for plain text and another for business cards.
 
Whilst scanning 2d codes via mobiles isn’t a new thing (in fact in Japan it’s been in commercial operation for years), now that larger corporations such as Microsoft are starting to take the technology seriously means that we could see some major advancements in its use.
 
Physical world hyperlinks are a necessary technology that are required to bridge the gap of mobile usability and the interactivity we are all used too on a PC environment. It goes further to assist in how mobile users can enter data quickly and efficiently. People wanting extra information about mobile and/or location based information such as, restaurant menus, bus timetables and even ordering a pizza, are as easy as pointing your camera phone at a 2d black and white code.
 
A good real world example is here on the Kaywa QR Code reader Blog that shows a Japanese can of drink with the code on the can.
 QR Code on a can
 
If you want to get your hands dirty and try for yourself, some new devices already have a reader built in them or download one of the many free QR Code readers (Pocket PC, Java & Symbian) such as the Kaywa Reader (installed this on my Nokia N90 and it worked OK with most codes I came across.
 
Robert Peloschek’s Blog has a great overview of QR Codes as well some links to code generators and other free mobile readers.
 
 
Posted by Shane Williamson.
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