The following is an excerpt from Stephan Dörner | October 16, 2012 | WSJ.com |
More and more, our smartphones and tablets help us link the physical world with the online world. One example: QR codes, those bar codes that have become common in advertising, marketing and retailing. With a click of your smartphone camera, they link you to online information, deals or services related to the product or promotion they appear on.
Printechnologics GmbH of Chemnitz, Germany, is the Gold winner in this year’s Wall Street Journal Technology Innovation Awards for technology that makes that kind of connection even simpler.
The technology, called Touchcode, enables publishers, consumer-product companies, event promoters and others to include invisible codes on printed items that can be read instantly on any device with a touch screen. The codes can link to videos, games, recipes or just about any other online feature; a concert ticket printed with Touchcode could take you to a clip of the performer singing, for instance.
Quicker and Safer
The technology has a couple of advantages over QR codes, chiefly its simplicity. A user only needs to place the printed item on the screen of a tablet or smartphone—or place the screen on the item—and the invisible code immediately connects to the online content. No need to summon your device’s camera and snap a shot of a bar code.
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