By Devyn Foti
Microsoft is at it again with a new update in technology, and Wesleyan is one of the first colleges to be a part of this new system.
Amy Lines Miller, an admissions visit coordinator for Wesleyan, introduced Wesleyan to Microsoft’s latest technology after her husband mentioned it to her. This unique technology gives the connection between communication and entertainment a new meaning. Known as mobile 2D tagging, it is run by a program called Microsoft Tag Beta. A bar code that contains a hyperlink is placed on items like billboards, t-shirts, flyers, signs, product packaging and basically anything else. Any camera phone with Internet access can take a picture of this barcode, (after downloading the free software to the phone) and then react to the hyperlink embedded in it. The phone will bring up the website specified by the barcode’s hyperlink on the screen.
So how is Wesleyan using this new technology? It is helping implement a new form of advertising. Small barcodes are printed out on labeling stickers and stuck onto everything from letters, banners, and postcards to Wesleyan t-shirts and catalogues. Miller came up with the idea to print the barcodes out on labeling stickers. She says that it is a simple “no harm, no fail” system and cheaper for the school. When someone uses their camera phone and takes a picture of the barcode on Wesleyan promotional materials it will take them to the Wesleyan website.
This new form of tagging, Microsoft says on their website, makes it possible to “interact with almost anything”. The idea of 2D tagging is still in its experimental stage and Wesleyan is testing different ways to use this new idea of tagging as well. Only time will tell how this new technology will fit into the world of college students and society as a whole.
To learn more about Microsoft’s mobile 2D tagging, download the free software program onto your phone, or see a video demonstration of how the process works visit www.microsoft.com/tag.