Love them or hate them, mobile barcodes are beginning to eek their way into mainstream success. A brand new startup, MSKYNET, has unveiled a brand new proprietary 2D barcode technology that promises to take things to the next level.
Dubbed “SPARQCodes,” the new tech is similar to standard QR codes, but with a few key differences. For starters, most QR codes try to embed all of their payload data into the 2D barcode itself, which can result in barcodes that are visually complex and harder for phone cameras (which are generally low quality) to scan. SPARQCodes help solve this issue by storing the payload data on its servers instead — so the code you scan is actually for a shortened URL rather than the data itself. This makes the codes easier to scan for phones with low-end cameras, and users can still scan SPARQCodes using most standard QR reader apps.
The shortened URls SPARQCodes use are also innovative in nature. For one, they allow the barcode’s creator to track analytics, the same way you would with a link shortening service like bit.ly. They also allow the publisher to detect what kind of phone the user has and serve up content that’s been tailored for that device’s capabilities accordingly. Most interesting is that MSKYNET claims SPARQCodes are visually designed to grab the viewer’s attention better than standard QR codes, and claims that they get 300-1000% higher conversation rates than traditional QR codes for app downloads.
The company is just getting started, having just scored a $550,000 seed round led by Andy Liu (Buddy TV), with other participants including Chris DeVore (Founders Coop), and John Keister (Marchex). We’ll be keeping our eyes on this one. With the heated competition combined with a continued lack of consumer sentiment around the use of mobile barcodes, it should be interesting to watch.