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The Printable Clickable Link

Posted on Wednesday, September 15, 2010 at 1:39 PM

How QR codes and Microsoft Tags are making print publications interactive.

Print magazines are starting to offer readers clickable links to Web content. The technology for doing this relies upon capabilities of the increasingly popular smart phone genre of mobile devices. The process is simple to implement. First, the magazine prints the link in the form of a mobile tag. Here are examples of two popular formats:

A Microsoft tag.

A QR code tag.

The reader uses the camera feature of the smart phone to capture the image of the tag. Then, an application on the smart phone facilitates the connection: reader to Web content. Get Married magazine, one of the publications that has begun using the Microsoft mobile tags for both editorial and advertising content. Here is an example of one of their tagged editorial pages:

A Get Married magazine editorial page offers readers a Microsoft tag link.

QR codes have actually been in use in Japan for many years. They are used not only in print publications, but also on business cards, signs, even busses. But, the practice seems not to have migrated to the U.S. to any large extent. More recently Microsoft has begun promoting its own variety of mobile tag.

Regardless of which tag format is used, it will be necessary for the user to download an application to the smart phone. Typically, the downloads are available for free. (App for scanning QR codes: http://www.neoreader.com/download.html; Microsoft Tag reader: http://www.gettag.mobi/)

For those of you who have smart phones, we have compiled a number of links that provide additional information about the technology. Just use one of the tags above to see them. (We'll leave the list there for 60 days.)

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