Mobile Monday's State of the Mobile Barcode

On July 25th, Mobile Monday, the global community of mobile industry visionaries, developers and influentials, will host a sold-out panel discussion and debate on the "State of the Mobile Barcode," and has been kind enough to invite me as a panel member.
The event will discuss topics such as whether or not mainstream America is ready for barcodes, if 2D barcodes can be used successfully for marketing, who's winning the battle of code formats (QR Code or Microsoft Tag), are mobile barcodes a fad or a revolution and will near field communication (NFC) kill 2D barcodes.

The discussion will be moderated by columnist and web strategist Angie Schottmuller and include the following panelists and companies: Dan Frommer (editor and founder of SplatF), Mobile Tag, Microsoft Tag, Augme, and a major retailer to be announced.

In the past, I have written about a recent Dan Frommer article, AT&T's Mobile Barcode Service, which is based on Mobile Tag technology, an Augme-based 2D campaign and Microsoft Tag, so I look forward to a lively discussion and debate. Stay tuned for a recap.


  1. Awesome! In having you on the panel, they have chosen well! Looking forward to your recap column on Mobile Monday and what the consensus from the discussion is about the "State of the Mobile Barcode."

  2. Robert D.July 19, 2011

    This seems like an ideal opportunity to have a realistic and sobering assessment of the market and opportunity.

    I'll kick this off by listing a few questions that seem obvious to raise at this point:

    1. Smartphone sales are booming and codes are everywhere but why haven't we seen one successful barcode campaign in nearly a year? Microsoft still quote their Allure numbers. QR speak in percentages but no scan numbers. Why haven't there been any break out barcode campaigns?

    2. Someone needs to start handing out realistic statistics that indicate what a successful campaign might generate [between 1% and 2% of view impressions translate to scans equals success?]. We need benchmarks.

    3. A year ago NFC wasn't on anyone's radar, now it's on everyone's despite the fact we won't see any market use for six to twelve months. But there is a push from above [Google and many others] to establish NFC similar to how QR entered the market in Japan. If Barcodes don't grab the imagination and interest of the public in the next year, is that the end of them?

    4. How many years can we say we're dealing with "early adopters?" Isn't it about time to realize that the early adopters have moved on and mainstream users aren't scanning in any great numbers? Let's look at the reality of the current situation and determine how to breath new life into this tool? Let's admit the mistakes of the past, recognize new competitive formats are on the way and then decide how best to reposition barcodes? Why aren't barcode companies doing more than recommending "optimized landing pages?" How about a mantra of "no more meh."

    5. Is it time to cease arguing about barcode formats and start working together to build a sustainable industry?

    It will be interesting to see if any real answers and solutions are discussed?