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Re: Accessing Mobile Sites

From: Scott Weiss <sweiss@usableproducts.com>
Date: Thu, 15 Sep 2005 12:05:19 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: fasol@eurotechnology.com
Cc: www-mobile@w3.org

Gerhard, thank you for sending the information on QR codes. It is an 
interesting solution to the problem of entering URLs on mobile 
phones. It reminds me of the failed Cue Cat technology from the early 
2000's: http://cuecat.com/ Cue Cat attempted to solve the problem 
identically, and it failed quickly and expensively for its founders.

QR codes are simply 2-D bar codes that require new handset hardware 
and software (and licensing fees to the patent holders) to allow 
scanning, analysis, and conversion to a URL. This technology is 
useful for tracking product inventories and scanning purchases, but 
is less appropriate for entering URLs. I do not think that this 
technology is well-suited to mobile web site URLs, but strongly 
prefer the ability to enter a numeric code with a signifier such as 
star ('*') or hash ('#').

Furthermore, QR codes are primarily useful in close-proximity 
situations such as print advertising. They are less useful or not 
useful at all in outdoor advertising, broadcast, etc. A star or hash 
code could be read by an announcer, displayed on a television or 
outdoor ad, or sent to others by email or SMS. Star or hash codes can 
also be made mnemonic as I mentioned in my initial posting.

With a star or hash code, there is the possibility that the operator 
could implement back-end software to reply to the call with a 
connection via the browser, enabling existing handsets to access 
mobile sites without upgrading handsets.

Please comment on this possibility if you understand the back end of 
the operator's call processing.

At 06:58 PM 9/14/2005, Gerhard Fasol wrote:
>In Japan QR-Codes are used for quick access to websites with
>mobile phones. If you go to Japan, you'll find QR codes
>everywhere, see:

>Scott Weiss wrote:
>>This thread is meant to be a discussion about accessing mobile web 
>>sites from phones.
>>Entering URLs into mobile phones is problematic at best.
>Scott Weiss
>Principal, Usable Products Company: usableproducts.com (212.929.8599)
>Author, "Handheld Usability": handheldusability.com
Received on Thursday, 15 September 2005 16:05:33 UTC

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