Future Of Mobile Tagging: Scan-Triggered Updates

Future Of Mobile Tagging: Scan-Triggered Updates

In this extract from PSFK's latest report, we describe how mobile tags can be used to instantly deliver status information.

Nate Graham
  • 11 january 2011

Mobile tags are being used to quickly capture up-to-date status information, whether from personal items or from public transportation. Tags with information that can be updated without changing the physical design are being used to quickly relay changes, often including a layer of information about location.


  • Mobile tags can link to the latest press, news or social buzz around a product or release, allowing interested consumers to stay up to date and/or participate in the excitement being generated.
  • At events or conferences, informational tags can provide attendees with the latest schedules, speakers and/or performances, ensuring that they don’t miss out on any of the experience.
  • Mobile tags can be used to create histories and/or up-to-the-minute statuses of physical objects and/or places. This adds deeper meaning and relevancy to people’s interactions with these properties.

Supporting Examples for Scan-Triggered Updates

Delivering Bus Schedule Info in Real-Time

A pilot program developed in a partnership between GVB, Sparked BV, and MINIbar at Amsterdam’s Central Station provides information and entertainment about the city’s transportation system to travelers who scan a Microsoft Tag. By snapping the Tags located on tram and bus stops at the Station Square, riders receive free access to specific arrival and departure information, the latest news on public transportation, a mobile movie series and art of the day. Also three randomly selected people who snap the Tag will win a €100 euro (about $140) credit to their transportation subscription.

Track the Journey of a Product’s Packaging

Columbia Sportswear has launched a new aspect of its online shipping service called A Box Life, which allows its customers to choose a previously used cardboard box for delivering their purchase. A QR code on the outside of each used box allows the customer to track where the box has been and also enables pictures to be uploaded to create a history of the box’s journey. 60% of customers have taken up the option when buying goods from the website.

Determine Whether an Item is Stolen or Not

The Kryptonite Bike Revolution ID Kit includes a bike frame with a tamper-proof QR code called PulseID that links to an online site, providing the bicycle’s current status. If the bike is stolen, the owner can update the code at the website The PulseID tag located on each bike can be scanned by any passerby to determine whether or not it has been stolen. If it is, users can click the ‘Contact Us’ button and provide location details, automatically alerting the police, local clubs, shops and the site’s army of Bike Detectives.

QR Code Money for Instant Tracking of International Value

A concept design for paper currency developed by QR Arts proposes using QR codes printed directly onto paper notes that would contain information on current exchange rates. By updating the code on a daily basis, international travelers would be able to quickly access the value of their currency at the time of exchange, ensuring that they are receiving the correct rate.

For your free download of this report please visit


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