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Neustar pushes 2D bar codes to forefront with NeoMedia deal

October 7, 2009

The film "9" was promoted with 2D bar codes

The film "9" was promoted with 2D bar codes

Neustar has partnered with NeoMedia Technologies Inc. to act as its licensing agent for 2D bar codes in the United States, making the mobile technology more accessible for brands trying to reach consumers on their handsets.

As part of the agreement, Neustar’s central registry services will extend to NeoMedia’s bar code technology, creating a potential for a one-stop 2D bar code mobile marketing and commerce opportunity. This partnership also means brands will be able to offer bar code marketing to consumers no matter which mobile service provider or barcode reading software the consumer’s handset uses.

“The strategy is really to continue what we’ve started, which is creating interoperability and an open 2D bar code ecosystem that will create really compelling opportunities for participants,” said Diane Strahan, vice president of mobile services at Neustar, Sterling, VA.

“This announcement removes any risk and doubt about security in the 2D ecosystem and now advertisers have everything to move forward to foster innovation,” she said. “We didn’t imagine how people would use short codes when we launched common short code registry and now they’re being used to order pizzas and for banking.”

 “Right now there is lots of cooperation with 2D bar codes, the movie ‘9’ was introduced via bar codes, Unilevar is using bar codes and car manufactures are using them. It’s hitting across all consumer product and luxury good types of categories but the opportunities are endless.”

Neustar provides directory services to enable communication across networks, applications, and enterprises worldwide.

NeoMedia is a mobile scanning service provider. Its technology lets mobile devices with cameras read 1D and 2D bar codes and allows access to mobile content.

In March, Neustar launched the technology that allows mobile phones to scan and process 2D bar codes regardless of the mobile service provider, scanning technology used or type of bar code symbology.

Based on open standards, the global pilot program is designed to show interoperability among leading bar code campaign managers, symbologies and code reader technology via Neustar’s third-party central clearinghouse and registry services (see story).

Ms. Strahan said she thinks that NeoMedia has been a pioneer in establishing intellectual property in the mobile industry. She said there has been concern about how the marketplace can move forward without access to such property and services and this partnership provides commercial access to let 2D bar code innovation become widespread.

Bar codes hit the movies
Ms. Strahan said she anticipates that the media and entertainment industries will adopt 2D bar codes the earliest.

Fox used 2D bar codes to promote the DVD release of “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.”

The campaign was powered by Jagtag, and was designed for users with mobile Twitter applications. But, those without Twitter applications were also able to snap a picture of the 2D bar code appearing in print ads in publications such as Maxim, Playboy and Widescreen Review and tweet the picture to receive the content (see story).

By using 2D bar codes, Ms. Strahan said advertisers benefit by getting consumers to engage in a deep, rich and compelling experience.

“Once a consumer clicks on a bar code he or she is telling you ‘I’m interested,’ whatever it is, if it’s a movie poster, car or sweepstakes,” Ms. Strahan said. “They are taking out their phone and clicking and then the advertiser has a qualified and interested consumer in their product or services, so it delivers interested and qualified leads from a direct response standpoint.”

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Chirs Harnick is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach him at

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