Bar codes for mobile applications are big in Japan. Everybody talks about how a 3D bar code can be scanned by a mobile user to get more information, or respond to an advertisement. Then those people say, “We can’t do that here because most handsets don’t have the technology.” That’s true, to recognize 3D bar codes a handset requires technology not built in to most U.S. handsets, but you can use traditional bar codes.
According to Michael Bates, co-founder and CEO of mobile and online classifieds site IQzone, the company’s servers can take in and resolve bar codes from photos sent by consumers. The difference is that with a 3D bar code the number is resolved on the phone, then sent to the server for more information. With a traditional bar code a consumer sends a photo and the number is resolved at the server, then sends information back to the consumer. The same can be done with ISBN numbers, serial numbers, and even something recognizable like a movie poster.
IQzone uses bar code recognition to make it easier for its users to post classifieds. If you’re selling a book why not take a photo of the ISBN number to populate the description with a summary from sources including The New York Times Book Review and Muze. IQzone also allows its users to send pictures of the bar code from consumer electronics and other items to post goods for sale. It then pulls from data sources to populate the listings with a description, which saves the thumbs of users actually posting items from their cell phones.
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