Tuesday, May 30, 2006

McDonalds Uses 2D Codes On Cheeseburger Wrappers

McDonald's is probably the largest fast-food chain in the World. Could a 2d code provide another revenue stream for them?

Peter Hanami, who lives in Tokyo, has a great shot of a McDonalds cheeseburger wrapper with QR, (2D) codes on it. It shows that brands are recognizing that 2d codes are the physical world hyperlink of choice for now.

When the code is scanned it takes customers to a site with allergy and calorie information about the range of products.

But what else could they do with that wrapper and a 2d code?

Ex. Download the McDonald's McCoder and scan a 2d code for free fries on your next visit. This would be one easy way to get the 2d code scanning application on the phone.

The idea I have is that McDonald's COULD SELL interactive mobile advertising on all of those wrappers.

They could sell adspace on the millions of wrappers they distribute daily with an interactive function (2d code and camera phone).

McDonald's is making their locations Wi-Fi enabled, see the possibilities?


Anonymous said...

Wikpedia shows 31 different 2D barcodes and related applications. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barcode) So...seems to me somebody needs to standardize which ONE is the RIGHT ONE for the most users. Is there room for 31 barcode applications on a single phone? Seems an impossible task, PP. Or would it be better to send the barcode in question to a server and let it resolve: 1st) what is this barcode (of the 31), 2nd) what does it say (decode it), and finally 3rd) act on it by sending back "the info" associated with the barcode whether it's text or a website I would/could go to automatically. Thoughts?

Scott Shaffer said...

Yes, a 2d code standard is defintely needed. I just blogged about that dilemma

Do you want a direct connection or do you want universal acceptance?

Do you want the ability to click on a specific code (providing you know who's code it is and have the right sftwr on the phone for it) OR
would you like to send the code up to a huge database that could resolve ALL the codes for you?

I know how advertisers would answer that question.

It's good to see readers accept that 2d codes will be adopted before 1d codes.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't going to the database to resolve the barcode (of whatever kind) let advertisers do both...universal acceptance and direct connection? Am I missing something? TIA. (Interesting...word verification is 'ktsux'....sorry katy lol.)

Scott Shaffer said...

This would initially offer universal acceptance, but no direct connection.

There is at least one way that I can think of that could allow a direct connection using this database though.

Anonymous said...

Well if you're not going to 'read' it or 'decode' it, meaning translate it, then you'd have to match it via a digital 'picture search' and therefore you could map the 2D symbology to some sort of connection, direct or otherwise, on the creator's website for example, or Flicker or ?? Make the search go where you want it to go. Am I getting hot?

Anonymous said...

Again, it's just NOT a good solution to send a picture of a bar code up to a database to have it decoded. To begin with, that might be a substantial amount of upload (what if it's a 1MB image, for example) introducing a significant delay. And when it gets to the server, it may well turn out to be undecodable -- most images AREN'T decodable, due to poor lighting, poor optics, motion blur, defocus, etc.

The single most important thing that the application needs is a SIMPLE, EASY-TO-USE scanning app. You're not going to get that if you have to upload to a server!

My strong impression is that EVERY successful bar code reading application in Asia in on the CLIENT cell phone, NOT on a server, and for the reasons just mentioned. Even in this case, it's sometimes hard, apparently, to get some of the 2D codes to decode -- I can't imagine how frustrating it would be if the experience had to include uploading to a server.

And if you do the decoding on the client, there's still another reason to have one, or just a few codes to decode: each code requires computation time to try to decode, as well as a memory footprint for its decoding software. The more codes you have, the worse the experience gets.