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Data-Rich Barcodes Offer Easy, Hip Alternative to Business Cards

I admit I like business cards.  I like to have a tactile memento from those I work with and keep as company.


BUT, to me, the concept of throwing these things into a rolodex after every new networking event, cocktail party or conference has always been burdensome. As more and more of our identity and content is contained online, our business cards are increasingly just a ‘re-direct’ trigger packaged in a nicely branded keepsake.

So, rolling with Future Shock gracefully, craft designer/engineers have come up with scanable data-rich barcodes to be gleaned at social get-togethers via net-capable camera phones.  The technology has been around for awhile, in the form of QRcodes and ShotCodes,  but it’s taking awhile for people to become tethered enough to their cameraphones to justify employing it’s use in a more main-stream fashion.

I first heard about these on BoingBoing last year, but the news went big when Kenye West’s team used similar technology promote his album 808 and Heartbreaks.

Kenye-  What is this building trying to tell me?

Kenye- What is this building trying to tell me?

In 3 years you won’t need to have a shoulder bag full of business cards after a conference (although, hey it’s your prerogative, horde what you want).  Just bring your phone, snap shots of your new contact’s patch, and Bingo, you’ve got the URL info to anything they deem pertinent to the interaction.  Individuals like John Young and have been throwing these on their conference bag for years and now offer them to the masses for custom use!

Sharon, over at indienomics pointed us to some very cool start-ups, the Kaywa Reader
and Vizitag, offering the products to produce and scan such codes, as well as Emma Cott, who’s doing some very nice work integrating the graphics with some hip, wearable designs.

Wizardry made possible by Kaywa Reader

Wizardry made possible by Kaywa Reader

It’s all about smaller, lighter, faster right?  Regardless of what you do with personal data-rich QR codes, there’s more to all of us than we can fit on a business card.

Why not embrace the technology and have fun with it?

Posted in Design, Sustainable Business.

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