Microsoft Tag adds customization

Remember Microsoft Tag? Microsoft's colourful form of bar codes was unveiled at the beginning of the year, providing an application you can download to your phone to use it's camera to catch and read the code, which will contain either some text or a URL.

These tags are designed to be put on various signs, packaging and advertisements so that consumers can easily get more information. With that in mind the Tag have now enabled custom tags, allowing you to customise your tags to help integrate them better with the design of your product or make them stand out even more.

You can now replace the coloured triangles of a tag with colour or black and white dots, which can then easily be overlaid on top of an image or even integrated into a design. Here is a traditional triangle style tag ...

... compared with a new custom tag where the coloured dots are integrated into the image:

This animation shows how a custom tag can be developed:

Find out how to create custom tags by following the new set of guidelines, or just give Microsoft Tag a try by visiting their website on your PC or visiting http://gettag.mobi/ on your phone to get the application. Tag is available for several different types of phone, including iPhone, Windows Mobile, J2ME, Blackberry and Symbian S60.

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19 Comments

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Hi. I am new to the board. I wanted to comment on your article. If MSFT is using a mobile device to access a remote server to get information from their tags, IMO, they would have to license Neomedia Technologies' IP. Now from what I have seen MSFT likes to run over the little companies and make it up in the end. I have been watching the barcode field develop over the years. MSFT was backing Scanbuy. Now with the USPTO upholding the IP of Neomedia, they maybe holding a flame in front of a blow torch. Would it make sense for MSFT to adopt or flat out buy Neomedia for their IP portfolio. In my mind, then MSFT could implement other codes or click-able objects or things into their systems. Such as keywords, logos, 1D, 2D, QR, Aztec, RFID, etc. This would also be a major revenue stream for MSFT as they would get or could pursue from other companies, a price per click. Also, IMO, MSFT could charge Google for clicking on the keywords, etc. with the G-Phone. I wonder what the SEO is doing about this valuable IP. Check out Neustar, Neomedia, Envision, Mobile Tag. It is kind of in depth and if someone has not been watching the 2D, QR, Data Matrix area unfold, it could be gaining traction quickly. Opinion and comments welcome.

Thanks,
Swampthing
Until I die I am still learning.

Yea I've tested it before. It's fun to print out a bunch of your own tags and place them around your house. Then you can go up to something and take a look at it with your camera to see what info it holds. Lol, I was bored.

2D barcodes are the way to go, I played around with some a while back and managed to produce a 2D barcode for my CV that employers can scan to put my contact details on their mobile.

How do these tags compare to normal 2D barcodes?

m.keeley said,
A high contrast bar code, good idea but I assume a really limited amount of information, even less than EAN13.

Sure, limited information in the tag itself, but the tag is really only a link to the data stored on Microsoft's servers.

I used the iPhone image as it is more renowned than other phones for its app capabilities and I couldn't think of or find any better images. Hope that explains my reasonings

the andyman said,
I used the iPhone image as it is more renowned than other phones for its app capabilities and I couldn't think of or find any better images. Hope that explains my reasonings :)


Err... Wha...

Almost sounds like you were hoping to start a flamewar with the pic and then that comment. :|

Not good...

Frazell Thomas said,
Err... Wha...

Almost sounds like you were hoping to start a flamewar with the pic and then that comment. :|

Not good...

Apologies, that was certainly not my intention.

After taking all your feedback into consideration I have decided to change the image to a generic Microsoft Tag logo.

@Edrick Smith: it is an app for the iPhone as well

waruikoohii said,
Same here. They're everywhere in Japan, and they're very useful.

For the love of god. Don't confuse Microsoft's 'we always have to do our own thing' tags with QR Code.