Following on from our recent post about Google’s Augmented Reality application and the subsequent comments between myself and Anne Gentle, we thought it be useful to expand on our comments on how barcodes could also be a means for delivering Help text.
Google’s operating system for mobile phones, Android, includes barcode scanning capabilities. There’s free, open source software available, which means it’s easy to create your own barcodes that link to your support text, contact information, images, videos or specific Web pages on your site. There’s also a free open source library available for creating your own barcode scanning application (this will be the case with the iPhone, too).
For example, this barcode below, when scanned, says:
Ceci n’est pas un Help page.
This smaller one links to instructions on how to make a pot of cherry leaf tea:
Here’s a picture of the tea (it’s our latest corporate marketing gift). The barcode could be easily printed on the back of the label.
These will work with existing barcode scanning applications, such as ShopSavvy. You can test the barcodes above if you have ShopSavvy on your Windows Mobile, iPhone or Android phone, but we’d still recommend you consider developing your own scanning application.