Bar Codes and Mobile Phones

03 October 2006

According to MobileCrunch, it seems that Coca Cola will be using ShotCodes on some bottles. I'm sort of disappointed that they chose ShotCode when there are other attempts that make more sense to me. It's all very marginal work, and boosting the right standard into the spotlight would help immensely. I just don't feel that ShotCode is the right choice.

ShotCode was the first example I had seen of these 2D barcodes for use with mobile phones, and I was really impressed. It's used for quick downloads from GetJar using the camera on your phone to scan the ShotCode off the computer display.

My excitement quickly fell off when I saw that I couldn't openly create ShotCodes of my own. They seem to be assigned and centrally mapped through, so it represents nothing more than a serial number.

As an alternative, SemaCode was used by area/code gaming. SemaCode has a more open SDK, and it seems that they encode the URL or text into the 2D barcode -- I've seen the little application show me the target URL without having to connect to a lookup service, and I've used their Java-based tools to generate barcodes on my Linux box. This obviously feels like the better solution.

I still hope to find the time to develop and setup my own "little" Geocache/SemaCode game in the style of what area/code does.

Filed Under: Mobile Java Toys Technology SE-S710a Computers