Direct Line Blog

Will 2D barcodes become a part of our own fabric?

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Last week, I was corresponding via e-mail with Maria Mandel, VP of marketing and media innovation at AT&T Advanced Ad Solutions. I noticed that her contact information — the standard name, title, address, work phone, mobile phone, e-mail address — had a new addition: a 2D barcode.

Those curious little boxes that seem puzzling to those who don't know what they are have been cropping up around the US. I recently reported on various marketers utilizing them to create buzz and lead interested participants to other touch points for them to engage consumers. Universal Pictures, for instance, placed a 2D barcode on the movie poster for Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. Once a user captured an image of it onto his or her Smartphone, the individual was led to the movie trailer.

But, the addition of a barcode to business contact information made me have a surreal “man-and-machine” or whatever moment. “What's next? Will they be imprinted on our skin?” These are words that flashed through my mind.

AT&T launched a code scanner and free mobile application for scanning mobile barcodes in early August.

Its effort is intended to “develop mobile barcodes into an effective direct response solution for brands and their consumers.”

Here are some more details:

AT&T Create-a-Code: is a free service that allows consumers to create their own personal mobile barcodes by visiting www.att.com/createacode. Mobile barcodes can be created to direct friends and family to a v-card, Facebook account, personal blog or favorite website.

Curiouser and curiouser.

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