Friday, October 1, 2010

Interactive Bar Codes reach America

Park Kitchen hosted an interesting business lunch this week. Cellar Key is launching a marketing application for wine which employs an interactive bar code. The 2d bar code are relatively unknown in America. You may have seen them before. Maybe you thought it was one of those holographic images that you have to stare at really hard before it comes into focus, and you just didn't have the time. Not knowing what it was, you didn't give it another thought. I was the same way until I began travelling in Japan, where they are absolutely everywhere. They were invented by Toyota back in 1994, and now they are on everything from posters and billboards to magazines and product labels.

These 2d codes are like a traditional (1d) bar code, but it has URL's embedded into it. Anyone who has a cell phone with a camera and internet access can utilize the interactive content. In this case, you can learn about Argyle Winery, their products and winemaking principles, see a video about the vineyard, and suggested pairings for the wines. If this ever catches on in America, the marketing sector should be the first to emerge from the economic crisis! And if we wanted to throw a really tech savvy luncheon, we would have printed these menus with soy based ink and edible paper, so you could eat the menu after surfing the web!

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