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Re: Accessing Mobile Sites

From: Gerhard Fasol <fasol@eurotechnology.com>
Date: Fri, 16 Sep 2005 02:30:49 +0900
Message-ID: <4329AFC9.3090509@eurotechnology.com>
To: Scott Weiss <sweiss@usableproducts.com>, www-mobile@w3.org


Some of what you write is correct, some is wrong.
I'll make some comments below.

Scott Weiss wrote:
> 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.

No, Cue Cat is not identical to QR codes at all.
QR codes are far more sophisticated than bar codes -
no comparison, not identical at all.

For that reason the QR code company is a success.

> 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,

no: your statement only partially correct - partly wrong.

> analysis, and conversion to a URL. 

no. QR codes do much more than just conversion into an 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, 

That's what you think. Can you give reasons? Have you ever tried it.

The reality is that QR codes are very well-suited and in great

> but strongly prefer the ability to 
> enter a numeric code with a signifier such as star ('*') or hash ('#').

That is your personal choice, but not the choice of the Japanese market.

> 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.

star and hash codes are not an alternative to QR codes. QR codes are
here to stay in Japan in addition to other ways of input. If your
hashcode method has merit it will coexist with QR codes. If it does
not have merit it will be replaced by something else - plenty of
alternatives to the hashcodes exist.

> 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.

That needs a network connection. QR codes do not need a network
connection and are therefore much faster and much more versatile

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

You don't need any for QR codes.

For more details see:

Hope this helps,


Gerhard Fasol, PhD                          Eurotechnology Japan K. K.
http://fasol.com/                       http://www.eurotechnology.com/
g.fasol@ieee.org                              fasol@eurotechnology.com

> 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:
>> http://fasol.com/blog/2005/07/qr-codes-everywhere.html
>> ...
>> 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

Gerhard Fasol, PhD                          Eurotechnology Japan K. K.
http://fasol.com/                       http://www.eurotechnology.com/
g.fasol@ieee.org                              fasol@eurotechnology.com
Received on Thursday, 15 September 2005 17:31:06 UTC

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