The DataMatrix Strikes Back

14 09 2006

It seems that Western countries are finally catching on to 2D Barcodes (which can be read with ordinary camera phones to access digital data – for example, point a learner at a URL with learning resources for a real-life context or situation). However, unlike Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and China, who all favour the QR-Code symbology, Western countries seem to be deploying applications that use the DataMatrix barcode format.

Yesterday, my colleague Colin published this article on our department’s blog, which highlights a service based in the USA called SmartPox – which is more focussed on pop culture as a market for their DataMatrix tags. And today I received Newsletter #2 from MobileTag, a European company focussing on mainstream channels such as the Yellow Pages and information directories as places to deploy DataMatrix codes.

For Australia to catch up with Japan, however (over 80% of Japanese mobile phones have built-in 2D Barcode readers), we need to get the major mobile phone carriers on board to decide a standard for Australia, and incorporate software seamlessly into Australian handsets. Only then will 2D barcodes really take off as a realistic conduit to use mobile data services, and learning materials.

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One response

2 10 2006


I think we will live with both QR Codes and Datamatrix for some time – every format has its advantages and disadvantages. The Kaywa Reader for example supports both ISO-Standards.

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