Mobile bar code integrations with traditional media seem to be coming at us faster and faster. The latest is Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issue. The annual institution of the sporting press hits newsstands today, filled with 2D bar codes that let users access mobile videos of swimsuit models.
The technology is provided by JAGTAG, a competitor to Scanbuy that we wrote about last week. JAGTAG’s claim to fame is interoperability with any phone or mobile operating system. Rather than special software required at the device level, a picture of the bar code is taken then sent in (via text) and returned with whatever media is being requested. In this case, its a video clip sent via MMS.
The compatibility is a selling point, given the low overall penetration of smartphones. But a downloaded smartphone app will offer a more integrated user experience. Smartphone owners are also heavier users of mobile media, and generally represent more attractive ad targets.
Regardless of formats and standards (and we will see format wars), expect to see bar codes and visual search invade traditional media, billboards, window fronts and anywhere where there’s interest in “more information.” Of course with swimsuit models, there is always interest in more.