Free D #2 – 2D Barcodes – Another step at making the world Digital, Online & Dynamic

Mobile 2D bar-codes are becoming accessible across handset technologies, formats, carriers and advertisers. But if we dig deeper, I believe it helps to expand an even bigger market: Digitizing and onlining the world, and making it Dynamic. I’ll try and explain what I mean by that.

Digitizing / Onlining

The revolution of information accessible and searchable in the internet, progressing to images, music (iTunes), video (YouTube), voice recognition (shazam), books (google) is continuing. By making everything online, we can navigate in the ever expanding world offering more choice. More choice traditionally seen as freedom, is heavily debated to be chains as well (see the Paradox of Choice – Why more is less), forcing us to spend a lot of time and resources, doing things that were trivial and equally enjoying in the past. 285 types of cookies to choose from in a supermarket? Surely it would drive monster cookie from sesame street insane, as if it does not already have popularity issues being a monster. So more choices, but with ability to filter and narrow down, potentially offers the end user both sides of the stick.

2D barcodes allow neustar to convert traditional media and product, and make them online. This makes it not only searchable, but accessible later, and from different consumption points. I can scan a window shop, of a closed shop, and later purchase it online from my PC. Very simple use cases is often something that helps drive massive usage. Time will tell.


As a past programmer, I’m “trained” to see the evolvement between “constant” (hardcoding), variable (placeholder for something that may change), and even higher level of pointers (a link to something, that links to something).

The trick is the trade off between simplicity of seeing something immediately recognisable as such, while still allowing our constant changing world, to adapt that representation to what is relevant the most, for a particular party, and a particular time and place.

Didn’t I just outline what is trivial to any advertising and media company? I apologise for the inconvinience (that’s what people here at UK do when they step on someone’s toe). And yes, by creating easily recognisable bar codes, we help the consumer feel a somehow consistent (“constant”) representation, and by having neustar registries, we actually allow this to reference something that may change in time, place, and fit itself to the end user consuming it, in the most relevant way to him: fit his device, location, environment and needs.

Another interesting aspect of it, is that the dynamic nature even of stable brands, in challanging economics that favour scale at certain times, and trending in general – allow us to to point a bar code of Pepsi Max toward (1) website (if a future M&A will so dictate, and no – I have no inside information of CocaCola buying Pepsico, and no – this post does not constitute a recomendation to buy or sell certain stocks the reader may have own), that is (2) local to the country or current location of the person and (3) is fitting the needs of that consumer (a can, a 2L family bottle, or a container full of that black gold liquid for the addicted ones). This is a result of “server-side” value adding, that can link information together before actually targeting the given URL.


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