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CES 2009: Microsoft Tag - You're It!

Microsoft Tag is a new system to help give you a way to direct people to a URL using the camera on their mobile phone. You can think of it as TinyURL for optics, or Cue Cat on-the-go minus the hokey cat reader (hey, I know lots of people who loved that thing). It's actually a great system to visually direct people to a URL, free text, a vcard, or a dialer. You can sign up for free at http://tag.microsoft.com, and download the app for your phone at gettag.mobi. Tag is available for a number of phones including Windows Mobile, Symbian, Blackberry, Android, and the iPhone. 

Tag can link to multiple types of content from web, SMS, e-mail, calendars, maps, or coupons and can be as small as 5/8". There is a great backend as well so you can see analytics on when and where people are reading your tags.

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  • John EllisJohn Ellis

    Love it. The technology is simple, easy to use and elegant. I was giddy as a school-girl when I saw how well it worked on my phone. Very, very cool product.

    I just wish that there was a desktop version- something to allow me to hold a business card with one of these on it in front of my in-built webcam and have the address just pop-up in IE.

  • USArcherUSArcher

    Huge opportunity with Tag.  I sent 10 suggestions to the Microsoft Tag team today that I think would rapidly promote/grow Tag usage.

    I agree with northerngeek about the need for a PC app that can use a laptop's or monitors built-in webcam.  The software should prompt available actions depending on the Tag data type.  With vCard you have contact data including address, website and phone number.  So the available actions should include

    • Add Contact to MS Outlook, Live Mail client or Live People
    • Map the contact address
    • Launch website specified in vCard
    • Dial Phone in vCard using Live Messenger VOIP capability (if configured)

     

  • John EllisJohn Ellis

    Exactly! These tags could be to the physical world what accelerators are for IE8.

    I am already talking to staff at my university as to how we can implement this into the medical course.

  • John EllisJohn Ellis

    If anything there really needs to be a mainstream way of using these in the real world- I can't see them taking off without something more than advertisements and business cards.

    I miss the CD and DVD stores that would allow you to listen to a CD or watch a trailor for a DVD when you scanned the barcode- it'd be great if MS could use links in the music industry to link to band pages, sample songs etc on your mobile device. Imagine on of these on the back of every CD (physical media isn't dead yet afterall) and scanning it allows you to view perhaps the Zune social info, how like your music habits it is, and allowing it to be listened to through YOUR headphones on YOUR device for a couple of plays. You could continue shopping elsewhere whilst listening to the songs and seeing if you want it, returning to the store or buying a digital copy.

    Any other ideas to get mass appeal?

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