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AT&T to test 2D bar code scanning across mobile device portfolio

March 29, 2010

AT&Ts 2D bar codes could be a boon for retailers

AT&T's 2D bar codes could be a boon for retailers

AT&T is launching a charter program in the coming weeks to test the use of 2D bar code scanners on the carrier’s mobile devices.

The charter program is being launched to test consumer response rates and the effectiveness of consumer bar code scanning technology as an interactive marketing vehicle. Consumer bar code scanning represents the next generation of interactive targeted marketing and commerce, enabling advertisers to deliver relevant content and offers to consumers, as well as being a valuable and efficient tool for consumers to search for promotions and information using their mobile device.

“We see a tremendous opportunity for the widespread adoption of this technology for consumers and businesses alike,” said Jenny Bridges, spokeswoman for AT&T, Dallas, TX. “AT&T’s vision is to get to a place of interoperability between and among bar code scanning technology to enable seamless interactive marketing.

“2D bar code scanning enables businesses and consumers to easily and quickly interact via innovative mobile technology,” she said.

AT&T is the No. 2 carrier in the United States based on number of subscribers.

AT&T delivers a suite of business services designed to meet the diverse operational needs of manufacturers, distributors and retailers of consumer goods.

2D or not 2D
This technology can be used to scan traditional 1D bar codes, also known as UPC codes, as well as 2D bar codes.

AT&T is currently selecting up to 12 enterprise customers to participate in this charter program across key sectors including consumer packaged goods, retail, hospitality and financial services.

The consumer barcode technology can be used across a variety of mediums including indoor and outdoor signage, packaging, catalogues, television, the Internet, as well as traditional print and mail advertising.

AT&T will soon make available to consumers via download a mobile application to read the 2D bar codes on a variety of mobile devices across multiple platforms, including Google’s Android, RIM’s BlackBerry and Microsoft’s Windows Mobile.

This new 2D bar code charter program will provide AT&T and its customers with a better understanding of the marketing, advertising and commerce potential that 2D bar codes offer.

AT&T will work closely with customers participating in the program to measure results and participants will have the opportunity to provide feedback.

The last decade has seen a dramatic shift in the way consumers use their mobile phones to interact with the world around them, according to ABI Research.

Mobile marketing campaigns have evolved from basic SMS campaigns to content-rich 2D bar-code-enabled mobile applications such as mobile couponing and information delivery.

Mobile bar codes can extend the marketing reach of any retailer or enterprise, serving as a permission-based way for consumers to engage directly with a company or brand.

AT&T will use technology from Mobile Tag Inc., a provider of universal bar code reader technology.

“Mobile Tag is a leading provider of universal bar code reader technology,” Ms. Bridges said. “Their scanning technology, combined with AT&T’s nation’s fastest 3G network, will enable businesses and consumers to easily and quickly interact via multiple new and innovative services.

“Millions of subscribers have used codes managed by Mobile Tag technology,” she said.

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Dan Butcher is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach him at

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