Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Send Feedback With QR Codes

I was cleaning my room this past weekend and found that the box of my Japanese anime toy had a QR Code on it as well. Since I wasn't completely sure about what the Japanese instructions meant, my friend Toyoki helped me out by actually scanning the barcode and following through with its actions.

Basically, Bandai (the toy company) is soliciting feedback from its customers. The end user scans the QR Code to initiate a blank email to be sent to m@candytoy.jp, and Bandai will email back to the user a list of URLs. The user then selects the URL of the product he/she wishes to provide feedback on, and they can start filling out a questionnaire after they access their chosen link. The company also offers to draw 100 lucky users each month and grant them a prize of a QUO Card preloaded with 1000 yen. The QUO Card seems pretty cool too, it is a prepaid card which can be used at over 36,000 participating stores. Including convenience stores, restaurants, gas stations, drug stores, and more. Or if you are interested in Bandai products, you can access their new site at http://mobile-b.jp/candy/m/.

I don't plan to do this all the time, but just for fun I'm going to try scanning this QR with the mobile barcode readers I have handy. The QR Code was obviously created for the Japanese mobile phone users, so it might be interesting to see how well these decoders fare.

QuickMark: Since I'm not using a Japanese phone, it is expected that not all of the characters will be rendered correctly (because the phone does not have all the corresponding character sets), but this particular phone still supports enough legible characters for me to get the gist of the message. QuickMark recognizes the QR as text but email and other functions can still be achieved by accessing the Open Notes function.

Kaywa: Being a QR intended for the Japanese audience usually means that the module size is quite small, and it is also the case here. The N73 that I'm using has auto-focus so it really shouldn't be a problem, but for some reason Kaywa wasn't able to focus on this particular barcode. I tried several times, but perhaps it just isn't my day. Although I wasn't able to get Kaywa to work this particular instance, I'm guessing that Kaywa functions the same as i-nigma.

i-nigma: The email was parsed correctly and functional, but unfortunately none of the Japanese characters came out correct.

ScanLife: ScanLife mistook the Japanese QR as a Mainland China QR (CMCC = China Mobile Communications Corporation) and closed itself after 2 warning beeps. Oh well, at least it proves that ScanBuy is indeed targeting the Chinese market.

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