Instant Voucher System for Newsagents

2nDimension is rolling out its Instant Voucher System (IVS) with up to 4500 news retailers in the north west of England.

Nowadays every newspaper seems to have a voucher of some kind and newsagents spend a lot of time collecting them, itemizing them and sending them off for payment.

IVS uses a mobile phone’s camera and some patented software to scan vouchers that will now have a barcode.

When a customer brings a voucher into the shop, the ‘phone will read the barcode, check its validity against 2D’s live database and inform the retailer of its obligation to the customer. The retailer will then be paid promptly and directly into his bank account and the voucher redemption is registered.

The scanning takes less than 3 seconds and only requires a mobile telephone signal to work. It is extremely simple to use and all scans are traceable by both the retailer and 2nDimension.

David Atkins of 2nDimension says the 2d barcodes that are used are proprietary but “..we are able to read standard 2D barcodes with a software tweak”.

The SUN Discovers QR Codes

The UK’s largest circulation daily newspaper The Sun has discovered QR codes.

In todays issue they have a picture of a model in a bikini holding a large QR code. The accompanying article explains “It looks like the grid for the most difficult puzzle ever devised – but this is the future of mobile phone technology. This is a QR code, a new kind of barcode, and it will revolutionalise the way you use your mobile – and the way you read your Sun. QR stands for Quick Response because when you scan it with your phone, it quickly responds with a link to the internet. And your technology-crazy Sun is going to be at the forefront of the revolution, delivering the mobile internet straight to your phone”. When decoded the QR code is a link to The Sun’s mobile website.

You can read more on The Sun’s website.

BNP Data Matrix

BNP Data Matrix advertisement on their developmentBNP Paribas Immobilier is redeveloping an old industrial site, Les Grands Moulins de Pantin in Northeast Paris. Scheduled for completion in September 2009 BNP have mounted on the facade of the building what must be the largest Data Matrix code ever seen . Equivalent in area to one and a half tennis courts when decoded it directs the user to where a video of the planned development can be seen on a compatible mobile phone.

IATA settles on Aztec, Datamatrix and QR

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has announced a global standard for mobile phone check-in using 2d bar codes. The IATA standard will use the existing codes Aztec, Datamatrix and QR.

Mobile phone check-in enables airlines to send 2d bar codes directly to a passenger’s mobile phone, personal digital assistant or smart phone. Passengers simply register their mobile number with their airline at the time of booking to receive a text message with a 2d bar code, or instructions to download it. The bar code becomes the passenger’s boarding pass and it is read directly from the screen of the mobile device, eliminating paper completely from the check-in process.

IATA has set a deadline of the end of 2010 to implement 100% bar coded boarding passes (BCBP).

South Africa’s First QR Code

The Sunday Times and The Times of South Africa have been testing QR codes in a joint promotion with Nashua Mobile.

They are inviting readers to take a picture of the front page QR code with the camera on their mobile phones and gain automatic access to a website where they can win a Motorola Z8. The competition requires you to predict the teams and scoreline for the 2007 Rugby World Cup Final.

It is interesting that they have chosen to brand the QR code as “TimesCode” as you can see in the Sunday Times advertisement.

Sunday Times advertisement with QR code.

Reading QR codes with branding logos obviously obscures some of the modules. The Sunday Times QR code is V3 (29 x 29) and with Level H error correction would allow only 35 alphanumeric characters. In fact there are less and it decodes to the url and here below is what you see on your phone on reaching the website.

Linked website image.