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News Microsoft launches 'tagging' app

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by CardJoe, 13 Jan 2009.

  1. ch424

    ch424 Design Warrior

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    Yeah! I remember being infuriated that my N73 couldn't read it! :D
     
  2. steveo_mcg

    steveo_mcg New Member

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    I had a feeling you'd swap to the newer standard when i seen this news article.
     
  3. quack

    quack Active Member

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    Damn my predicatability!! :p
     
  4. Smilodon

    Smilodon The Antagonist

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    Get a job where you have to punch LOTS of numbers during a day, and you'll see why this is interesting.

    Of course RFID tagging of stuff is more interesting, but it can't be easily printed.
     
  5. Cupboard

    Cupboard I'm not a modder.

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    Seems to work really well, even with small pictures and my hand wobbling around. The only minor thing is that it does insist on opening Internet Explorer rather than Opera on my phone (Touch Diamond) which is rather irritating as I dislike IE muchly.

    Now all we need is this to appear places.

    I suppose they will run out of "tags" fairly quickly so I wonder what their recycling policy is.

    edit: 50 triangles, 4 colours (pink, yellow, blue, black/cyan, magenta...) so 50^4 possibilities = 6250000.
    They must be going to charge for this though, otherwise you will just get loads of things like Quack's avatar using up combinations.
     
  6. ch424

    ch424 Design Warrior

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    They could just make the triangles smaller and add another row?
     
  7. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    Huh? The URL is actually encoded in the tag - it's not a 'lookup' system. There's no recycling required. Unless I'm missing something somewhere...
     
  8. cebla

    cebla New Member

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    You calculation is wrong. It should be 4^50 = 1,267,650,600,228,229,401,496,703,205,376. Otherwise a 32 bit number could only hold 1024 different values, but it can actually hold over four billion. They will never run out of tags even if it is some sort of a lookup system as opposed to being an encoding.
     
  9. Hex

    Hex Paul?! Super Moderator

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    Works really nicely on my new Bold. Even when taken on a CRT monitor with the black lines across it, still worked and very quick :)
     
  10. cebla

    cebla New Member

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    I just tried it out on my phone at it works pretty well. I think you will find that it is looking up the url from an MS site similar to tinyurl or something I don't think the url is actually encoded in it, because you could only fit like 12 characters in the barcode (you have 100 bits to work with).
     
  11. LordPyrinc

    LordPyrinc Legomaniac

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    I can't have a camera phone at my job, so unless I have two phones (impractical) I will never make use of this tech.

    I'm still not sure what the purpose of this tech is. "My phone can read triangular heiroglyphs and your's can't?"

    Seriously, the whole idea of stuff like this is probably another form of advertising. Scan this symbol and we will tell you what you need to buy.

    EDIT: Maybe I'm missing something. Why would you be surfing the web on your big screen and then decide to point your cellphone cam at an image to automatically go to a url on the phone? I can maybe see limited usage with ringtones and mobile apps, but I am missing a more important use?
     
    Last edited: 15 Jan 2009
  12. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    The idea is that the barcodes will be printed on real-world items. The sales pitch usually goes thusly: you're walking down the street and spot a poster advertising a film. You point your 'phone at it, and snap the tag: your 'phone automatically downloads a trailer.

    Swap "film" and "trailer" for "band" and "ringtone" or "magazine" and "wallpaper."
     
  13. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    I'm not sure where you got the 100 bit figure from - it's a lot higher than that! I'm 99% sure it's encoding the URL into the tag - in the self-same way as is done with QR Code, which is only in black and white. I'm prepared to be wrong, mind.
     
  14. DougEdey

    DougEdey I pwn all your storage

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    I have seen QRCodes in use on Pepsi recently, but they were very useless
     
  15. quack

    quack Active Member

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    I'm pretty sure that the barcode only contains an ID which is then looked up on Microsoft's servers, therefore internet access on your device is required.

    If it's a URL you're sent to it
    If it's free text, it's displayed on-screen.
    If it's a vCard, I presume you get an option to save it to your phone.
    You can also set up a tag as a "dialer", which I guess probably dials whatever number was encoded.

    You can add start/end dates to the tags, and even passwords.

    And it is also possible to pull up stats on your tags to see how many times they've been accessed.

    [​IMG]

    One clever thing is that they don't even need to be in colour!

    :)
     
  16. mclean007

    mclean007 Officious Bystander

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    Definitely mate. It does not encode the URL directly - it is just an identifier that looks up the underlying data (URL, free text, dialler or vCard) on an MS server. 50 four-value (2-bit) symbols (12.5 bytes) is nowhere near enough to encode most URLs, and that's before you take into consideration that the code probably includes some error detection and correction coding, which will use up some of the available data (e.g., I bet the code works whether you scan it "right way up" or "upside-down").

    You can test for yourself that it doesn't encode the URL directly. Create a new tag to, say, www.google.com, and download the image. Scan it to check it takes you to Google on your phone. Now, go back into the tagging site and change the URL. Rescan the same tag and now it takes you to a different URL. Furthermore, if you delete the tag on the MS server, it no longer points anywhere, just throws an error. None of that would happen if the tag encoded the URL directly, as I believe the QR tags actually do.
     
  17. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    Fair enough - I'd assumed it was the same as the QR Code system.
     
  18. DougEdey

    DougEdey I pwn all your storage

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    Quack: the monochrome idea I had thoughts about already since the reader on my phone states not to cover part of the image in shadow
     
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