After breaking the news 3 days ago on AT&T’s Datamatrix and QR Code scanner and generator here is a closer look.
Imagine the scene (you may even have done it), you meet someone who gives you a QR Coded business card, you scan it with your mobile device and store the contact details. Job done.
Here is what happens when you meet someone who has put an AT&T generated code on their business card.
You look at the code on the business card, “This doesn’t look like a QR Code” you say. “Ah!” they say “I generated it with AT&T’s code generator, I think it is a Datamatrix Code”. You scan it with your mobile device to see what happens and because most scanners will decode both types of code it works.
However the scanned code reads ‘5240000052838881’, “It’s just a number” you say. “Ah!” they say “That’s the unique identifier that is used when you access the server where my contact details are”. “OK” you say, “how do I access the server”? “Just download the AT&T Code Scanner, you can get it from AT&T or an app store” they say.
Back at your office you search for AT&T’s code generator, go to the download site and read the following: “Your Device is not compatible to download this app. Here is a list of compatible devices for the AT&T Code Scanner App: Apple iPhone 2G, 3G, 3Gs, iOS4 (coming soon) Android Motorola Backflip, HTC Aria, Samsung Captivate RIM Blackberry 9700, 9000, 8900, 8520, 8320”.
You think about this, the owner of this business card has chosen not to embed their data in the code but to put it somewhere where you can’t get at it. Not only that but even if you had been able to download the application it would (in the absence of a WiFi connection) have used your data plan to retrieve their contact details. In the absence of both it would have been impossible.
Your conclusion is inevitable, you throw the business card away on the grounds that anyone who uses this proprietary system hasn’t a clue what they are doing.
Agree? Disagree? I would be interested to hear your comments.