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Ralph Lauren and QR Barcodes

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Ralph Lauren and QR Barcodes

Ll_qr_code I was reading the latest issue of TIME magazine over the weekend and came across this interesting article about a new initiative from fashion house Ralph Lauren. In conjunction with the US Open tennis tournament beginning on Monday August 25th, Ralph Lauren is launching a campaign featuring a QR Code - these are basically a two dimensional barcode like the one pictured above. This is how it will work. Ralph Lauren has placed these barcodes on billboards, in store windows, in magazine ads and catalogs. You will need a cell phone with a camera and software to read the QR barcode. There are plenty of web sites that provide free QR barcode readers - Ralph Lauren has one available for download on its mobile web site. I was able to download one called NeoReader quite easily for my iPhone. When the QR reader is loaded on your phone you scan the barcode by taking a photo within this software. Then the software will take you to the web site using your phone's browser. The QR codes used in the Ralph Lauren promotion will take you a special web site created just for mobile phones where you can buy merchandise direct from your phone. In Japan there has been widespread use of QR barcodes for a couple of years now. In this country, we are still in the very early stages, but rest assured this technology will become very widespread in the near future. I don't think Ralph Lauren will be making much money on their first foray into QR barcodes, but they are positioning their company as being on the cutting edge, and they are certainly getting good PR out of it. The QR barcode pictured above is something I created. If you print this page and scan this QR barcode it will take you to Lightning Labels' website on your cell phone. One day soon you will be able to scan one of these codes at the supermarket to find out more information about the product you are buying. For example you could scan a QR barcode label on a banana and immediately find out when the banana was picked, where it was grown and how it was transported. All the technology is available right now to do this (check out ScanLife or Winksite if you want to create QR barcodes), so I expect forward thinking companies to start using this technology in coming months. Of course, if you want someone to print QR barcode labels then Lightning Labels will be happy to assist you.