Samsung and TeleNav Step Up Mobile Barcode Support

By September 30, 2008

Mobile barcodes are being showcased in ReadWriteWeb 's series about “integrating the internet with the real world through barcode scanning technology.” The opportunity to bridge this gap is available now with "real" smartphones such as the iPhone, Blackberry, and the T-Mobile G1. The failure of past barcode implementation was the fault of extra hardware, such as the CueCat, or relying on newspapers to propagate the technology. Newspapers, arguably a dying format, targets the wrong demographic for creating a new promotional medium.

In a strictly business use of barcodes and other mobile-centric features, Mobile-services-vendor TeleNav has released a new version of its TeleNav Track mobile-based GPS tracking service. The service tracks “workers, vehicles and other equipment in the field,” helping to “control costs and manage risk.” The system clocks wireless timecards for teams and individual, monitors dispatching, scheduling and mileage, captures barcodes, signatures and images. The software runs on mobile handhelds, and administrators back at the office monitor the employees on a Web interface. Unfortunately, the device runs only on 75 or so specific Sprint/Nextel handsets.

On the service provider level, Samsung’s camera phones, like the Instinct, will be preloaded with ScanBuy, a proprietary barcode-scanning program from ScanLife, which formats its own “EZ codes.” While Semapedia remains in comparable anonymity, MarketingVOX believes that the “second-largest phone manufacturer in the world” will have the marketing power to drive the 2D barcode concept into the public awareness.

Unfortunately this move will not make the support for the international open standard any easier, but prime ScanLife for priority. The scanner can read QR codes (which are also supported by Google Newspaper advertisements), but will likely be pushing its own format. Until now, scanning software has not been preloaded onto handsets, which “means that most people will never use it.”

Immediate implementation starts with the community . Anyone can create the 2D barcodes, or QR codes , themselves at, which links the code from a real object to an entry in one of several Wiki sites: “Wikipedia, Wikinews, Wikibooks, and Wikisource can be used.” The code can be used instead of business cards, on t-shirts and patches, store products and even real estate.

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