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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Google's Mobile, Print Ad Advantage: Barcodes

By David A. Utter - Tue, 01/29/2008 - 7:27pm.

Yes you have seen this idea before

Shades of the nearly-forgotten barcode scanning CueCat, and Japanese business cards, add up to a old yet new strategy for Google.

This latest AdWords initiative has to be a 20 percent project at Google. We picture some techie cleaning out a closet at home, finding a card from a hostess bar in Osaka stuck under a CueCat in a box, and being suddenly struck by a bowling ball falling from an unbalanced shelf.

Tra-la-la! Wait, that's Captain Underpants. Eureka! That's more appropriate for California.

We'll give credit to Joel On Software for making the CueCat connection too. Yes, play spot the oldies, kids, it's easy and fun!

Google intends to drop square barcodes onto print ads. With a camera phone and the right software, a person can scan the ad, and the phone's onboard web browser will bring up additional information related to it.

"2D barcodes have been common in Japan for a number of years," Google said in its barcode help page. "In fact, Japanese business cards often feature barcodes containing contact information."

The first ads containing these barcodes appeared in newspapers, and connected to jewelry retailer Blue Nile. Google promoted these, and other barcode ads, as a way to quickly deliver more information about an advertiser to a consumer.

It's far too soon to guess at how successful barcoding may be, for Google or anyone else opting to use the technology. We will make one guess: Google's Android mobile software will include a barcode reader when it launches

The NeoReader

Based off the award winning Lavasphere technology developed in Germany by Gavitec, the NeoReader features NeoMedia's patented resolution technology combined with Gavitec's ultra-small footprint and platform independent algorithms. It is able to read and decipher all common non-proprietary 2D codes (Data Matrix, QR, Aztec, Maxi) as well as URL embedded 2D codes and all 1D UPC/EAN/Code 128 open source codes. The NeoReader supports direct and indirect code linking, which guarantees maximum interoperability with already existing platforms like 2D Data Matrix Semacodes, and Japanese QR links. This allows the user to click on a variety of codes with a single application installed on their mobile device.

The NeoReader ushers in and inaugurates a brand new era of innovative mobile enterprise and optical code reading solutions for the wireless industry. Visit to download the free application, and instantly transform your mobile phone into a universal code reader.

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