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Barcode reader test: QODE

QODE scans barcodes at least as fast as the test winner Kaywa, and the user interface is actually much better. The scanner however is limited to AZTEC codes, and obviously also EAN codes, but I haven't been able to get it to scan any EAN codes. But not only this, it's limited to AZTEC codes provided by the publisher of the software, and the only way to obtain one of these codes is to pay them money. Also the only thing that QODE can do after scanning a code is redirect to a website that the AZTEC code is linked to.

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The QODE reader has a great potential for several reasons. It works on heaps and heaps of different handsets. It can even be used on handsets without a camera, where you would enter the code manually instead of scanning it. It also has a feature where you enter your location, language, sex and age into the application, and this information will be taken into account when it decides what website to redirect you to. For companies this offers lots of opportunities. Advertisement campaigns, getting more info about an item in a store, giving users freebies, timetables, etc, etc, the possibilities are only limited by your imagination.

For an end-user as I am myself however this just isn't very interesting. It would only be worth while getting it if it already was in use somewhere close by. If your local store used the system for something, if a big advertisement agency in your city used it with their campaigns, etc. Personally I also feel that this is basically a gimmick to fool me into letting even more advertisement into my personal space.

As far as I can tell the main problem with QODE as of now is that it too much of a closed system. How are you going to get thousands and thousands of end-users if you don't offer them anything in return? Let people create their own codes and point them to their own blogs, etc.

I good example of how this should have been implemented is shotcode (I will be posting a review of their barcode scanner soon). Their solution offers something for both the big companies and us end-users at the same time. Anybody can make and use their barcodes. They offer both personal/non-profit and professional licenses. So anybody can make a barcode that works with their system, and point it to their blog. Personal users however are limited to a certain amount of barcodes, and each barcode will only scan a certain number of times each day. They cater to not only the big companies, but us small time end-users too. They give you a good reason to user their system.

QODE might be the future. And one day we might all be using it, but as of today it is totally uninteresting.


Basically, if this is the first time you heard about QODE, there is absolutely no reason for you to get the software. If you have any need for it, you already have it. If you for some reason want to try it out anyway, point your WAP browser to: http://get.qode.com. Personally I uninstalled it as soon as I was done writing this review.

Rating (for end-users): 2/10 Rating (for businesses): 10/10

Update: 2007-04-23

I have corrected a couple of typos in the article. As a reader commented I had written that QODE only supported QR instead of AZTEC. I guess that's what you get for writing articles in the middle of the night.

Also several readers have informed me of the fact that the company behind QODE and Glass are owned by the same company. This is quite interesting, and increases my sense that QODE has a future, and should be watched for future updates. It also seems that the company behind QODE has stated that they are planning on becoming more open, and also support more barcode types in the future. So I'm going to keep a close eye on QODE.

Update 2007-04-23

Again I've gotten more info from my readers. I would like to thank all of you who have given me feedback. Some of the feedback contained clarification on the subject of QODE and Glass. I have with published some of that feedback bellow:

It is not true that NEOM owns the company that is behind GLASS. HP labs designed Glass a couple years ago in order to do some marketing tests. They used a part of Gavitecs Lavatec technology in their development. At that time NEOM did not own Gavitec.
So NEOM doesn't own the company that owns GLASS, and GLASS was not developed by Gavitec, only a portion of GAVITECS technology is in use.
It also might interest you that Tim Kindberg from HP labs stated in their forum the GLASS application is only designed for certain s60 phones, and they have no intent on expanding it.
Keep in mind when all this was done in late 2004, NEOM did not own Gavitec, they just purchased them last year in 2006, so NEOM was not even involved in this project.

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