Mobile Next – QR Codes and Advanced Reading

MobileLets face it- Using your mobile phone for just making phone calls, “is so 2002.” From location-based applications to reading books on iPhones to random restaurant look-ups based on a search criteria (Urbanspoon), the mobile technology we know and love is changing at a pace that consumers can barely keep up with.

Currently, mobile technology is growing at a rate, that compared to PC technology, is exponential. New applications, phones, screens that have a higher resolution than the eye can see (or so claims), are just a small part of the mobile technology. The bigger picture however, is what will we do with all the functionality? And, as marketers, how can we take advantage of better/faster/more powerful devices?

QR Codes

QR codes are those “funny” looking bar codes that you might have seen quite often on UPS shipping labels. Their functionality comes from being able to access much broader and more data within one set of a scan-able black & white image than the common bar code we’re used to seeing on common products.

Using applications like Optiscan (for iPhone), by placing a QR code store front, you can have it link directly to the store’s website, or even have it check in for you on Foursquare. These QR codes can even be on a business card giving the holder an ability to access much more information that can fit onto a single business card.

The overall applications of QR codes are much broader than just to ring up a product. Harvard Business Review mentions proactive and customized services by saying,

The next time you had a problem with your garbage disposal, you could take scan its barcode with your cell phone. The make and model would pop up, and you would be able to pick from a menu of “reason codes” and desired call-back times. The service technician would call you back with full knowledge of you, your product, its warranty, etc.

Here’s some more reading on QR Codes – HOW TO: Use QR Codes for Small Business Marketing

Advanced Reading

The Kindle application for iPhone & iPad just recently announced that it will include audio and video embeds within its ebooks, not to mention that Kindle is also released its version for Android based phones. Amazon is smart to position the Kindle as more than just a reading device; it’s a platform for e-reading. Even though reading on a mobile phone’s small screen might not be the most convenient thing to do, the way we consume readable content is definitely changing.

These are just two examples of relatively new ways people are using their mobile phones. Next time you log-on, check-in, scan, or read on your mobile think about where your next phone could be taking you. Is it a netbook, but smaller?

What do you use your phone for? How do you see this changing in the next year or so?

Image Credit – MobiGates