Sometimes, 2D is better.
The 2D in this case is the barcode, and it might soon be the target of a world’s worth of mobile phone cameras, if the stated goal of a London meeting of mobile executives is achieved. That meeting is to take place today, and representatives from Nokia, Vodafone, Sony Ericsson, Deutsche Telekom, and other industry leaders are slated to attend.
We have this technology already, of course, if the we we’re talking about is South Korea and Japan. Customers in those countries certainly can use their mobiles to scan barcodes and find out all manner of pricing and manufacturing information about a host of products. But the we that is North America and Europe lags in that department. Common software is a big reason for this, but disagreements on implementation have held up such cooperations in the past as well. It is hoped that the London meeting will change all that.
Basic agreements on how to catalog and report barcode information are vital, as are manufacturers committed to the technology. DuPont has been up-front in its desire to affix 2D barcodes to cans, bottles, and other types of packaging for its products. Other companies seem poised to follow DuPont’s lead. With any luck, all of this will come together at roughly the same time and we won’t be kept waiting, again.