Friday, March 13, 2009

JAGTAG, "Request 2 Get" flows with barcodes

JAGTAG is a proprietery 2D barcode symbology that offers pretty much the same functionality as the other 2D symbologies. The main selling point emphasized here is that you do not need a scanner ( or reader) application installed on your phone. The system works through the MMS ( email for Iphone) model where the end user simply has to snap a picture and MMS it to 524824. Iphone users can email their code image to  This is similar to the model used by Mobot and some other companies.

I tried the service out with Shabbir's Iphone and it was pretty good. Took a picture of the JAGTAG in low lighting and sent out the email, I had the response back via email (image on the side)  in under 2 minutes. The only peeve about the service, I got back the email with a Quicktime video file that I couldnt play on the Iphone. Not a very good user experience but I guess that just depends on the content provider and is not necessarily a reflection of the service. 

Some issues that JAGTAG would have to solve if they want to really make it a viable solution (if they havent already solved them):
  1. Latency issues, MMS and the subsequesnt SMS back can run into latency issues. I bet the actual time that the JAGTAG server takes to decode the image and act on it is in milliseconds but the time taken to send an MMS can lead to a bad user experience
  2. Success Ratio: The end user needs some training in how to take the image so that the complete barcode is in the picture and size of the barcode modules ( black dots) is large enough for the server algorithm to decipher.
I am currently not sure how a regular user will be able to create JAGTAG codes, would definitely love to add one to the side bar. 

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