Barcodes haven’t caught on, it’s no secret, but a large reason is because so much fragmentation exists in terms of barcode technology, the platforms to read them and link them with content, and other aspects along the value chain that contribute to consumer confusion and lack of uptake by large industries.
One aspect of the value chain, which has been in the works for a while now, is finding an end-to-end solution to link digital content to normalized UPC and other barcodes that grace nearly every single packaged product sold in the US. Once normal everyday products are “digitized” so-to-speak, and a solution exists to digitize any future products that are slapped with a barcode, a huge limiting factor will have been solved.
Another primary limiting factor is the art of equipping consumers with the necessary mobile apps to scan, recognize and consume the digital content associated with barcodes. Until barcode readers come pre-loaded on mobile devices, we can’t expect a large number of consumers to seek out, download, install and configure their own apps. If the apps are installed and ready to use from day one, it’s a whole different story.
ScanLife is a barcode solution that has the best chance of any to standardize mobile barcodes in the US, by enabling a “multi-barcode” concept that works across several technologies. Its key attribute is the fact that it’s now being pre-loaded on cell phones shipped in the US and in other parts of the world. It’s currently the only barcode solution doing so, and is available on every major platform, including the iPhone, Blackberry, Android and Java platforms.
ScanLife has also created what it calls its “Packaging Connect” barcode registration solution, which allows product manufacturers and packaging companies to seamlessly link existing UPC, EAN or ISBN barcodes to digital content- easily readable by ScanLife’s barcode scanning application.
Augme, on the other hand, is an innovative mobile marketing solutions company that specializes in allowing brands to augment communication with consumers via traditional print media, including product packaging, by again digitizing print content and making it interactive. Through its “AD LIFE” content creation platform, brands can create unique content for everyday products and print media and seamlessly distribute it via solutions like ScanLife.
All of these components, from ScanLife’s barcode scanning and registration solution, to Augme’s AD LIFE content creation platform, have come together to form a complete end-to-end solution that’s the best answer to the fragmentation problems so far.
The two companies announced today the successful integration and deployment of Scanbuy’s mobile multi-barcode scanner application and its new ScanLife Packaging Connect barcode registration solution into the AD LIFE mobile marketing platform. Product manufacturers and packaging companies can now seamlessly link existing UPC, EAN or ISBN barcodes to the AD LIFE platform’s content creation, delivery, tracking and behavioral analytics tools, providing consumers the opportunity to enhance their shopping and brand experiences.
With it, brands can easily “activate” an existing UPC through the AD LIFE platform to provide consumers with access to relevant digital media, including recipe ideas, product demo videos, coupon offers, social network feeds, and many other interactive applications.
The solution provides value to all parties involved; including product manufacturers, packaging companies, the brands themselves and consumers alike. While it may not be the definitive answer to wide spread mobile barcode usage, it’s an excellent start.