Mobile Codes

25 Jan 2011
the qr code of this article

At the makemagic.gr footer you can see the “Mobile Me!” block. It has a barcode image. It is a special barcode, a mobile code.

What are mobile codes?

“Mobile codes” are codes in the same way as ordinary barcodes are, but their matrix structure can hold more information. The codes are also mobile in the sense that you can use the camera on your mobile device to scan and decode them.

You can convert a web address (URL), a phone number, an email address or plain text into a mobile code. After scanning it with your camera phone, you will have instant access to the encoded information straight on the display of your mobile device.

Mobile codes are increasing in popularity. You can find them these days pretty much anywhere: as tags on flyers and posters; on business cards and CVs; in magazines and blogs; offline and online. They are a great way of sharing information with friends and communicating your message to strangers in a fun way.

With these codes browsing the Internet with your mobile device becomes very easy. Instead of typing in those often long web addresses in your mobile browser, you can use a normal computer and keyboard to create a mobile code using the mobile code generator. Once you have entered the data and generated the code, you can immediately scan the code image from the computer display and connect with the encoded information through your mobile device.

Nokia, me and I think the rest of the world like open standards: the two currently available open-standard formats for 2D codes are Datamatrix (DM) and Quick Response (QR). The Nokia site uses currently the Datamatrix standard. Some of the readers proposed on this site can read QR codes as well, including the Nokia barcode reader.

What do I need to scan a mobile code?

You will need a camera phone with an installed code reader on it. In addition to Nokia barcode reader, there are a number of code readers that support mobile codes, downloadable on the Scan-page of our website.

What do I have to do to scan a mobile code?

Simple, start the code reader application on your device, point and shoot the camera at the mobile code, and enjoy the content.

qr and datamatrix code examples

qr code datamatrix code

I found about mobile codes back to 2006 when I bought my Nokia E50. I then discovered the www.semapedia.org

With Semapedia you can hyperlink your physical world with knowledge that matters. To do this you create small Semapedia Tags consisting of a cell-phone readable 2D Barcode that will link others to the content you provide. Or put simply: Mark things like buildings, books, airplanes, cars or whatever with small Semapedia Tags that let others be a entry-point for more information.

Bug Notice (maybe)

It seems that the datamatrix generator at the mobilecodes.nokia.com website is producing a quite different image than other generators.

My nokia phone interprets it correctly but other phones (e.g. android) and readers do not. I tried the kaywa generator and the image is somewhat different. E71 still reads the kaywa generated datamatrix code correctly and other phones and readers read that correctly too.

I do not know if it is a bug or Nokia follows a differnet type of datamatrix encoding that some readers cannot interpret.

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