JAGTAG brings 2D barcode reading to Twitter

JAGTAG_logoJAGTAG announces today that they are now able to utilize Twitter’s network to decode their proprietary 2D barcodes and then easily broadcast the resulting links and media via Twitter’s re-tweet function. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment has hooked up with the company to promote their new Blu-ray/DVD launch of X-Men Origins: Wolverine via this method. It’s an interesting way to use mobile devices outfitted with Twitter clients, to decode and share video and other content, especially as an ad campaign tactic. Will it catch on? We’ll have to see, but it’s definitely an innovative way to marry some existing technologies. I appreciate the “rigging together” of a concept like this. That’s a compliment, by the way.

From the press release:

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment and JAGTAG, the only 2D barcode solution that does not require consumers to download an application and the only mobile medium to successfully deliver optimized multimedia to standard phones and smartphones, today announced the launch of the first viable Twitter integration from a 2D barcode tied to the Blu-ray/ DVD launch of X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The Twitter integration allows consumers to tweet with 2D barcodes, sharing exclusive video content from X-Men Origins: Wolverine with their friends and followers.

small-demo-request-AUG27I used an iPhone to test it out, but you could use any mobile platform and Twitter client that supports image upload. For the sake of practicality, the way it works is like this:

1. You take a picture of a JAGTAG you see out in the field (the one to the right is the demo tag from the JAGTAG website)
2. You save it to your library
3. You open a mobile Twitter client (I used TwitBird Pro)
4. Open and type a new tweet
5. Attach the photo of the JAGTAG in your library (TwitBird Pro uses Twitpic to upload and encode a link to the photo)
6. Append JAGTAG’s shortcode preceded with the @ symbol (@524824) to the end of your tweet.

So, the tweet would look like this:

getdonovan http://twitpic.com/f4mjj @524824

Once you do this, the JAGTAG will be decoded and that content will be returned as a link in your account’s @ mentions. You can then re-tweet that mention to easily pass the link on to your followers. The response will look like this:

524824 @getdonovan See our demo video here: http://tinyurl.com/nghfx6

Why is this important? Well there are a few things to note.

1. This bypasses the need for MMS functionality to decode a JAGTAG, say, if you are on an iPhone. MMS is still lacking on iPhone (until Sept. 25th unless you have already taken measures into your own hands with certain hacks available out there). So, you can use Twitter as a surrogate MMS solution for the iPhone. (Incidentally, JAGTAG does support an email solution for iPhone—emailing tag pics to jag@jagtag.net gets a similar response, just via email).

2. It automatically posts the content link into Twitter for you, eliminating the need to cut and past a URL string for the compelling content you want to broadcast on Twitter. This is a nice shortcut anyone on a mobile device can appreciate. And if it’s compelling content you are looking for…just check out JAGTAG’s recent campaign with Sport Illustrated for the Swim Suit Issue. ZING!

05_Flatbed_2 - APRILIt may seem like a bit of a convoluted process on paper, but anyone familiar with the ins and outs of mobile tweeting will likely not be daunted. Once I tried it out myself, I could see how I would use this functionality. Apparently Fox Home Entertainment is a believer as well. It will be a case study to keep your eye on to see if it catches on.

Now, if only I could find a JAGTAG to decode that’s not just an ad for a mobile phone or DVD (see Nokia’s JAGTAG-wielding ad in Wired for an example). That’s not really the content I want to pass on to others. It is still valuable but more for personal consumption. I think once JAGTAG reaches a critical mass of clients publishing content that, while still possibly ad-based, has functional and informational value on its own (location based content, time sensitive events, limited use content…basically all the plans their web site lays out) that we’ll see their speed to market with this Twitter-based experience will have proven worthwhile.