Arstist Vs Poet, a power pop boy band from Dallas, TX have launched a promotion to win two free tickets to a date on Warped Tour 2010. The competition is tied-in with a new service from Microsoft called Microsoft Tag.
So, what is Microsoft Tag? According to today’s press release from Fearless Records it is: “breakthrough technology that transforms everyday things in the real world into live links to online information and entertainment.”
Right… so that cleared that up…. no?
That little bit of jargon doesn’t help clear things up much, but after doing some research this morning I’ve learned that Microsoft Tag is essentially an application you can use with any camera-equipped Smartphone which allows you to ‘scan’ a tag which will then direct you to a web page, phone number or text information to find out more information about a product, service or event. The tag is a two-dimensional barcode image, either in colour or black and white, and rather than being straight lines and numbers like a traditional barcode it is made up of shapes, as shown in the triangle-filled sample tag.
Microsoft didn’t invent this technology as a whole but the colourful triangle barcodes (High Capacity Colour Barcodes) are their own brainchild, and with this technology they might emerge as one of the pioneers at the front of this hi-tech bandwagon. I’m reminded of a story I read on the BBC sometime ago about the increasing experimental use of Smartphones in European supermarkets, with the technology being used in that area to allow shoppers to self-scan their own groceries as they shop.
It’s all a bit futuristic and nerdy but this kind of technology might well become a popular interactive promotional and marketing technique. In the example being used by Artist Vs Poet, fans who scan the tag have a chance to win Warped Tour tickets. Perhaps in the future we will see these kind of triangle barcode images all over the places…maybe even on show posters to find out more information about a gig, or to purchase tickets online.
© Brian Banks, Music Vice