QR Code hits Mainstream Australia

2 11 2007

This week, Australia’s largest mobile phone carrier, Telstra, announced that they would be trialling the use of QR Code reader software on mobile phones using their ultra-high-speed Next-G network.

Ultimately, the technology will be used in conjunction with the Telstra website allowing users to share contact details, blogs and messages as part of a social networking system.

“Consumers will have fast one click access to mobile websites, rich streaming media from Bigpond and Foxtel, location based services and localised information from Sensis, all on Australia’s fastest and largest Next G network,” said Telstra group marketing director, consumer marketing and channels, David Moffatt.

(I’m definitely going to try to get in touch with David – the man’s obviously one of the bright sparks at Telstra… indeed, in the Australian telecommunications industry). David continued:

“Consumers could even wear their own barcodes on a t-shirt as a fashion statement which could then be scanned and linked to their personal BigBlog, Facebook or MySpace pages.”

What… like this you mean? πŸ™‚

Check out the video of Telstra’s “mobile codes” in action: http://wotnext.com.au/link/direct.asp?id=24127

All in Australian accents. πŸ™‚

Which is why it’s puzzling as to why Stephen Downes seems so dismissive of QR Codes! He makes a wild comparison of QR Codes with the proprietary hardware/proprietary encoding CueCat barcode scanner – which wasn’t even a mobile device, but one that was used connected to a PC! Compare this with QR Codes, which are a free (as in beer – and, as in speech) and open platform, work using ordinary camera phones (not CueCat’s laser scanner system), on mobile hardware (not connected to a PC), and I fail to see the connection.

Stephen: may I suggest you buy a mobile phone and try out the technology before you critique it? It seems to be the responsible thing to do if you’re going to post that kind of dismissive commentary on your widely-read blog; and if you’re so easily slating the technology for failure, you might want to research more widely: tens of millions of Japanese already use QR Codes “often” or “sometimes” and the technology is already used for informal learning and informational recall across their society. It would be enormously valuable to the international education community if you became a participant in the research and development of mobile learning, rather than a not-always-accurate onlooker.

(via All About Mobile Life)

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