What happens if I click on that creepy barcode on the left?
Will I be entered to win a 6 day, 7 night stay at the Turtle Bay Resort in Oahu? (Yay!)
Or get a terrible worm that will suck the life out of my hard drive? (NOOOOOO!)
Or… or… or… will LonelyGirl15 come to my birthday party? (Huh? Sicko.)
All excellent guesses, but no… the whozimajiggie on the side there is actually a Augme datamatrix barcode containing an encoded URL of this website, which can be displayed on MySpace, Facebook, t-shirts, posters, you name it. (And, btw, clicking on it will do you no good.)
Maybe I should start over…
Augme is a Florida-based company looking to get ahead of the curve on mobile barcoding technology. While most Japanese phones already have barcode readers (and most owners actually use them), such technology is still seen as a unnecessary novelty in European and US markets… at least for now. Augme wagers that because Nokia has begun installing barcode readers in many of their higher end models (N95, N93, N93i or E90), the trend is primed to spread.
Don’t have a Nokia? (Yea, me neither.) You can download barcode-reading software on an affiliated Augme page.
So, the all-important question arises: Why would I want to do this?
Well, for starters… as an aspiring band, you could have your customized barcode link to a downloadable MP3… for a hopeful model or actress it could lead directly to your portfolio. Users also have the option to create a profile within Augme itself (with or without direct contact info) that can be easily encoded.
Augme’s revenue model is reliant upon an online store selling t-shirts emblazoned with your barcode(s).
If the market for mobile barcode readers takes off, Augme is definitely in a great spot– far ahead of the curve. However, if the turtle-like uptake of the technology outside of Asia is any indication of the trend’s stickiness potential, this could quickly become a rocky business path.
The site is super easy to navigate (it took me five minutes–tops–to register and create the customized barcode shown above), and the idea is boldly forward-thinking, so I certainly wish them well.