Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Scanning Barcodes On The Bus May Be Tough

Using the mobile device to look up bus schedules is an easy and useful concept to grasp, and so the Taipei City Government launched such a service earlier last month.

Although a QR Code is printed on the promotional poster, it is simply a link to http://www.mbus.com.tw, where the user gets to download a Java Midlet that is specially designed to keep track of the whereabouts of the buses in Taipei City. Swiss company BeeTagg also launched a similar service with PostBus Switzerland Ltd last month, except that their mobile tag links directly to the bus info.

This news is already a month old, but I finally ran into one of those posters last week and was eager to try scanning the 2D barcode posted on the bus window. It took less than a second before I realized how difficult the task can be. The bus was not exactly crowded, but I was standing and the bus was moving. On top of that, the poster is positioned on the lower half of the window, so I had to stick out my arm in front of the seated passenger's face to get to the barcode. It must have been a weird sight indeed.

For more detailed news and info: m-bus application screenshots, or if you want to check the Taipei bus schedule on the web: Taipei e-bus system.

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