Mobile phone codes such as semacodes and QR for “quick response” codes allow you to to embed data such as SMS messages, phone numbers, and URLs into images of square patterns.
These codes add interactivity to previously static media such as newspapers, magazines, posters and even business cards. Newspapers, for example, can publish mobiles codes beside movie and TV schedules to allow readers to download the information. I wrote, in my Sun.Star Cebu column for tomorrow, how newspapers can use mobile codes to add interactivity to their pages.
But one exciting aspect of the technology is the ability to embed more data into your business card or even “hyperlink” it to your blog.
For several days last week, I’ve been trying to create a mobile code that links to a vCard file for my contact details. I’m still trying to make that vCard link work in such a way that when the phone connects, it will then prompt you to save the contact details into your phone. After days of trying it, I decided, instead, to embed in the mobile code a URL that links to a text file containing my contact details. I tried it with my Sony Ericsson k750i (which can read text files) using the Kaywa Reader and it worked (see photo).
I also created a mobile phone code for this blog’s url and when I tried it, it loaded my blog using the Sony Ericsson mobile browser.
I’m planning to eventually print these codes at the back of my business cards. I want to print two mobile codes at the back of my business card, one for the link to the contact details and another to link to my blog.
If you want to create your own codes, there are a lot of online generators out there. I used the Kaywa QR code generator but Nokia Beta Labs also has one.
I will be testing this week whether the QR codes work with Smart Decode, the service recently launched by the dominant telecoms carrier in the Philippines. I will try to make the vCard link work but if I can’t make it work, I might just link it to a .wml file containing my contact details. I’ll just update this post if I can finally make the vCard link work.
Max is a journalist and blogger based in Cebu. He has written and edited for such publications as The Freeman, The Independent Post, Today, Sun.Star Cebu, Cebu Daily News, Philstar Life, and Rappler.
He is also a mobile app and web developer and co-founded InnoPub Media with his wife Marlen.
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