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Navigation QR code<

Active Navigation via QR codes

Mobile devices with GPS (Global Positioning System) capabilities and that have one or other navigation application onboard can make use of QR codes to activate as example, a route planner, for realtime navigation activation.

Like the sextant (six piece od a circle measurement) a nautical and astronimical device to determine the longitude using Greenwich time, our modern electronic devices need three components to make it work.

  • GPS receiver and processor
  • Navigation and mapping application
  • QR Code reader capable of understanding geo-encoded data

Creating navigation QR codes

QR4 provides a free QR Code Navigation Generator

Navigation QR Code Generator

There are other geolocation and routing options

For devices that do not have GPS, nor mapping capabilities, but do have a QR code reader the use of an Internet service is the best choice to show where the co-ordinates you have encoded are on the globe. It stands to reason that navigation will need to be done externally by entering your current location in the online service.

The requirements for this type of service are:

  • Available Internet connection (via any type of connection, teathered or wireless)
  • QR code reader capable of understanding a request to go to a resource on the Internet

Passive geolocation and routing

QR4 provides a free QR code Geographic Generator

Geographic QR code Generator

So now you can implement active and passive (via an external service) geo-location using QR codes.

Which type of QR geo-coding is best to use when and where?

Let me start off with: If it's printed, painted, projected or anything in the analogue world...use QR codes. If it's digital and portable DON'T!

Both types have their merritts. If you want people to know where you are, play safe and use the passive version, knowing that if that service fails or changes it's way of working, your published and printed QR codes could become totally useless. If you need to guide people to your location the navigation QR code is your best option, but will only work with mobile devices meeting the three criteria for direct navigation ability. The choice is yours. As complete measure you could consider providing both geo-location types to service as wide an audience as possible.

Maps and Navigation QR code examples

Google Map QR Code Example Navigation QR Code Example
4.6

What mobile marketers use to get their message to mobile markets.

A comparison between 2010 and 2011 deployed mobile marketing tactics. I'm sure that 2012 will again see an increase in the use of QR codes.

Scannable Codes
tags, QR
68%
53%
SMS/Text Messages
50%
59%
Smartphone Apps
44%
37%
Mobile Display Ads
35%
34%
Mobile Video
29%
30%
Mobile Coupons
27%
29%
Check-in/Geolocation
24%
20%
Mobile Games - Branded
7%
9%
Augmented Reality
7%
no information available

Source: Chief Marketer Mobile Marketing Survey

   2011    2010

In 2010 no one bothered to check the use of augmented reality, so data is missing for this year.

Interesting to note is that barcode scanning is up 15% (this includes QR codes, MS tag and other proprietary barcoding technology) and outperforms any other technology used between 2010 and 2011 and I expect it to increase even more in 2012. Mobile apps are also still a popular instrument for branding and marketing.

SMS marketing that was always seen as an urgent and immediate communication channel has declined the most. Even though it is the fastest and simplest way to set up, use and to communicate to mobile devices, I can only imagine that the costs per message in combination with limited interaction and presentation options are the reason it is being abandoned by marketers.

3.7

Where was that QR code scanned?

Knowing when and where a QR code is scanned can be valuable information for marketing professionals. Because QR codes are mostly scanned by mobile and smartphones of which most have GPS (Global Positioning System) on board, It could be interacting to request this geographic location information from the device that scanned the code to determine the location and time the scan was made.

Putting Geolocation of a QR code scan to the test

Below are two QR codes, one for the iPhone/iPad(click on it) and the other for Android mobile devices. Scan the code to see how it determines your geographic position.

Android Geolocator QR Code iPhone Geolocator QR Code

The result on an Samsung Android system

QR Code Mobile Geolocator Android

The results from an iPhone

QR Code Mobile Geolocator iPhone

 How geo-location works

The iPhone geolocator uses new HTML5 features to ask for the co-ordinates. Unfortunately Android (froyo) in combination with the Samsung Galaxy S's standard browser does not seem to support this, so here we went back to Google Gears which did the trick, but the accuracy leaves a lot to be desired.

The technology used in the two test cases above is openly and freely available on the Internet, so if you have QR codes in newspapers, magazines or on materials that move around a lot and you want insight into where these QR codes are being scanned. These systems may be helpful in providing you with the geographic information you need. If you want to integrate geolocation with your QR codes and need assistance, please contact us.

4.1

Posted by: jeroen Steeman
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