Technology that brings together the real world and the virtual world of Facebook seems to be becoming the next big thing. Last week Facebook launched its location check-in service Places. Yesterday we wrote about a Coca-Cola festival in Israel where teenagers could ‘like’ attractions on Facebook by waving RFID bracelets. And today, we bring you news of real-world ‘liking’ via a QR code and a mobile phone.
QR stands for ‘quick response’ and it’s a type of barcode with an encoded URL. If you have a phone with a camera and internet service you simply take a picture of the QR code and it then connects to the URL in question. It’s used mainly by advertisers, both for outdoor posters and and for print ads, but also for editorial purposes such as The Sun newspaper in Britain.
Mobile marketing company Macanudos, based in Motril near Granada, Spain, has developed a system that will allow users to ‘like’ physical objects – from a press article or a poster announcing a performance to a restaurant – using a QR code. Right now the only example is a five-metre high bitter orange tree outside Macanudos’ office, which was planted for the 1982 soccer World Cup.
Gabriel Medina, head of Macanudos, said: “Our business idea is about looking for new concepts and applications that serve as a bridge between the physical and digital -known as the” internet of things ” – … using the phone in this process.”
Macanudos is currently working on an advertising product for Bluetooth phones of Facebook users but is not ready to announce details yet.
There’s a lot of buzz in marketing circles about QR codes, as this article in Advertising Age shows. It’s a more practical implementation than RFID chips because it relies on technology that many Facebook users already have – a mobile phone. At the moment it’s not clear to me whether Macanudos will be the only company offering this integration or not. I’ve asked the company to clarify what, if any, patents they hold and will update the story accordingly if I find out more.