The Sun rises on QR -- posh mobile bar codes, that is...

The UK's favourite, erm, newspaper, the Sun, records good numbers with a recently introduced QR (Quick Response) codes using 3GVision's i-nigma application. This is how it works:

"The barcode-based technology enables users to scan their mobile phone over pages of the newspaper, which in turn uploads relevant information onto the device. For example, a football fan could read a match report and use the technology to upload video highlights of the game."

The Sun, the above source reports, has acquired 11,000 users of this, and all this in just over a month. This is quite respectable one might say although it is only a tiny fraction of the Sun's daily readership of 7.9m (as we are informed here). The Sun freely admits that it needs to educate consumers on how to use this; it explains the service online and also plans to produce a pull-out to add to this. This would point to rather high expectations of what the service will do.

The paper's hopes are that the service will help it to boost printed editorial and advertising content in the publication, and help print to become a more profitable medium (they are apparently suffering currently).

The advantage of this is, of course, quite obvious: the advertiser benefits as it can directly measure the effectiveness of its (QR-enabled) print campaigns through the amount of traffic received. The codes can even be used as vouchers. The user could simply scan a code and present the resulting data at a retail outlet to receive discounts or special offers. No surprise then that it is reported that a number of advertisers, including Sky, Ladbrokes and 20th Century Fox (the first and the last belong to the same Rupert Murdoch's media empire as the Sun though).

The codes, alas, are not so new: It is said to be the most common form of bar code in Japan today.


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