Tag: ‘QR-Code’

SoftBank Mobile testing smart movie posters

03 Sep 2008

Wall-E --

Japan's first field test of "smart posters" using Near Field Communication (NFC) -- a short-range high-frequency wireless communication technology that lets users view digital content simply by holding their compatible cellphones near the posters -- is being conducted at a Chiba-area shopping mall, it was announced on September 2.

Major phone operator SoftBank Mobile, along with NTT Data, Hitachi and Dutch smart chip maker Gemalto, are testing the technology with WALL-E and Tinker Bell movie posters embedded with NFC tags.

Throughout October, selected test participants will be able to receive and view digital content such as movie stills and trailers simply by holding their NFC-compatible phones (containing NFC-USIM cards) next to the smart posters. Along with the digital content, users also receive an access code that, when transferred to a compatible Hitachi HDTV at home, allows them to view a WALL-E trailer in high definition (via Hitachi's content distribution service).

The tests, which are designed to help the companies evaluate the effectiveness and potential of NFC smart posters as a promotional medium, could be a sign of things to come in the field of poster advertising. Should NFC smart posters become cheap and easy to produce, they have the potential to replace the ubiquitous QR (2D) code that commonly appears in Japanese advertising posters. NFC is seen as more convenient than QR code because the user does not have to scan a code and visit a separate website to view the data. Instead, digital content can be accessed directly with a simple swipe of the phone.

[Source: Nikkei Net, NTT Data]

Shokotan’s Sukashikashipan

11 Jan 2008

Shokotan's Sukashikashipan --

Otaku idol Shokotan (Shoko Nakagawa)'s obsession with sand dollars has resulted in a new type of sweet bun, called Sukashikashipan, which is scheduled to hit Lawson convenience store shelves nationwide at the end of January.

Since Shokotan began drawing attention to sand dollars (known as sukashikashipan in Japanese) on her popular blog last April, she has often remarked how they look like a type of kashipan (sweet bun). A Lawson product development team apparently agreed (they also picked up on the fact that sukashikashipan sounds like kashipan), and they contacted Shokotan about helping them design a new product. The result is a sugary treat that looks like a palm-sized sand dollar, complete with five radially symmetric holes. Sukashikashipan will sell for 125 yen (a little more than $1) at Lawson stores nationwide beginning January 29.

As an added bonus, the package will feature a QR code that, when scanned, takes you to a mobile site that provides a variety of Sukashikashipan-Man anime content. Sukashikashipan-Man is a fictional hero conceived by Shokotan.


[Source: Gigazine]

QR code on shrimp crackers

05 Jun 2007

QR Ebi-sen -- Internet content creator Hertz has launched a new marketing service called "QR Ebi-sen," which allows companies and individuals to print QR code on shrimp crackers. QR code, a type of two-dimensional code that enjoys widespread use in Japan, connects users to mobile web content when they scan it with a QR code reader-equipped cellphone.

Using natural dye extracted from tamarind seeds, the QR code is printed on the smooth surface of white crackers provided by ebi senbei manufacturer Shimahide, whose factory is located in the city of Kanonji in Kagawa prefecture -- a place known for delicious ebi senbei. The resulting cracker has a high-contrast, high-quality image readable by a cellphone QR code scanner.

The price for the service starts at 10,000 yen ($85), with an additional fee based on the number of crackers printed. Visitors to the NET Marketing Forum held at Tokyo Midtown from June 6 to 7 will get the first taste of QR Ebi-sen courtesy of the Web Technology Corporation, who will be handing them out from their company booth.

[Source: Impress Watch]

Movie QR code and kung fu high school girls

26 Apr 2007

Movie QR Code -- Hakuhodo DY Group i-Business Center and IT DeSign have developed "movie QR code," a type of QR code that incorporates moving video into the design.

QR code is a type of two-dimensional barcode that has grown popular in Japan in recent years, because it provides a simple, automated way for users to enter data into their mobile phones. By using mobile phones to scan QR code that appears in an outdoor advertisement, for example, users may be directed to a website containing more detailed product information.

To personalize the appearance of printed QR code, which looks like a chaotic arrangement of tiny black and white squares, IT DeSign recently developed "Design QR," which incorporates static images of logos, characters or photos into the code. Movie QR code takes this concept a step further by incorporating moving images into the design, thus optimizing it for use on video screens, where it promises to be more effective in attracting the attention of potential scanners. Seriously, how will anyone be able to resist scanning a bit of on-screen QR code if, for example, it contains a cute, bug-eyed critter that literally begs you to scan it?

Movie QR code works just like standard QR code -- any user armed with a reader-equipped cellphone can scan it.

On May 21, the companies plan to launch a new type of advertising service built around the use of movie QR code. Details of the service will be announced soon.

Interestingly, a commercial video containing QR movie code has been circulating the web for a while. The video, called "Kung Fu High School Girls" (Kanfuu Joshi-kousei), begins with two high school girls talking about Black Jack (the famous manga character), who they both think is cool. Things quickly turn ugly when the girls disagree about whether Black Jack is a foreigner or Japanese, and a full-on kung fu battle ensues. After a while, a boy wearing a giant QR code headpiece arrives on his bicycle and urges the girls to stop. By scanning his face, he explains, they can find the answer to their question and settle their dispute. (This is a cue for the viewer to scan the computer screen with a cellphone QR code reader.)

Scanning the movie QR code takes you to http://aniful.jp/pr/ (which appears to be accessible only by keitai), where there is a link to another video that contains the answer. For some reason, the Pink Tentacle keitai is having problems downloading that video, so we may never know the truth. Is Black Jack Japanese? Or a foreigner?

[Sources: IT Media, "Kung Fu High School Girl" video (non-YouTube version)]