In Japan, mobile barcodes(QR Codes:local version of the 2D barcodes) has been widespread and acquired a stable position as one of the familiar media to provide a direct access to customers these days. They are mainly targeting mobile-savvy group of twenties to mid-thirties leading them to sales promotion sites for products such as snacks and beverages.
In Real Life of Japanese mobile user and Internet
69.23 million Japanese out of its 120 million population access Internet via mobile phones. It is about the same number of 66.01 million internet users via computers(According to the data of 2005). And almost all of the mobile phones in the market now have equipped with a barcode scanner by default.
Popular usage of mobile barcodes
- product site for mobile
- sales promotion site
- personal contact info(Email and phone number)
- job recruting
- online survey
- online request for brochure
- downloading standby image
- downloading free ring-tone
More on jp.girl@flickr.
- Staff/Crew Recruiting Ad from MacDonald’s
- Sales Promotion Site of Jagariko(Japanese popular snack)
Mobile barcdes do move people closer to Internet/products
Internet and mobile phone have given great impacts on modern communication technology globally. Barcodes may become a smarter and quicker way to open a new door leading consumers to Internet in the next future as it is in Japan currently. In fact, with barcodes, lots of Japanese who don’t own a computer at home access Internet via mobile phone. In addition, even those who own a computer are using Internet from mobile phone for its handiness. The same idea can be applied in the U.S. and other regions.
If I point out the current bottleneck of barcodes service, it tends to become ad-hoc content service and does not provide further path to stimulate the consumers. Of course the service providers need to come up with an exciting idea to continue users attracted, however, at the same time, it is necessary to explore and improve UIs and others on mobile phone.