One Reader for All
The new Tag app now supports Tag barcodes, QR Codes and NFC. With so many readers and formats, everyday users have been frustrated by the fragmentation in the industry. We‘ve heard your concerns and have launched one app that can scan the most common 2D barcodes and NFC touchpoints. The new Microsoft Tag app for Android and iPhone lets users scan Tag barcodes and QR Codes — both those generated by Tag and third-party codes. But wait, there’s more! Android users who have NFC-enabled smartphones can use the updated app to also scan NFC touchpoints. Users of the new app will have all this as well as features such as:
- A visual history of the most recent Tags and the ability to flag and organize favorites in a variety of ways
- Ability to share Tag experiences with friends on Facebook or Twitter as well as via email
- View other Tag campaigns through our Featured Tags section
- Save and edit contact information
Windows Phone 7.5 also supports Tag barcode and QR Code scanning through the Bing Visual Search button.
So there is no reason to have more than one reader taking up space on your mobile device… and that’s space you can use for more important apps like Angry Birds or Fruit Ninja.
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Let’s Talk About the New Kid on the Block: NFC
The acronym may be familiar to you, but you may not know what it stands for or what it does. We’re talking about near field communication, which is commonly referred to as NFC. Digital experiences are launched on the phone by tapping enabled smartphones to NFC touchpoints instead of scanning barcodes. There’s been buzz about it to make payments and it can also be used to share all sorts of information, which makes it the perfect addition to Microsoft Tag recognition technologies. Now Tag lets you create NFC URLs so you can bring this cutting-edge technology to customers with NFC-enabled devices.
NFC sensors are included in some Android phones and if you have a customer base that leans heavily toward those devices, NFC is fun way to engage with them. Tag Manager also provides reports on your NFC-enabled campaigns.
With NFC, you can go beyond just telling how you hand-pick your ‘cukes and berries — Tag’s advanced features enable you to deliver interesting and relevant customer experiences. For example, with our real time location functionality, you can give directions to the closest shop carrying your artisanal pickles and jams. You can also capture a unique Device ID of each mobile phone engaging with your content. That way, you can go a step further and serve up a different experience with each tap: Give a buy-one-get-one-free coupon with the first tap and a recipe for wild mountain blackberry thumbprint cookies with the next tap.
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You can now create QR Codes in Tag Manager
We are excited to announce that now you can create QR Codes in the Tag Manager in addition to your Tag barcodes. Just go into the Tag Manager, click on ‘create a Tag’ and select QR Code when downloading your files. Follow the simple steps and you’re on your way!
The best part is now you also have a way to track the metrics of your QR Codes. You can run reports showing when and where (if customers have opted in) the QR Codes you created in Tag Manager are being used. And it can all be scanned by one app making it straightforward for your customers. It doesn’t get easier than that.
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Now Available: Mango is Ripe for Tag’s New Functions
With all the new functions and features for Microsoft Tag, Mango was definitely not going to be left out. Tag is now built into Bing’s new Windows Phone 7.5 Visual Search functionality. Mango users can scan both Tag barcodes and QR Codes using Bing Visual Search. All they need to do is simply tap Search to launch Bing then press the Vision search icon from the app bar. From there, users hover the viewfinder over the Tag barcode or QR Code, and the item will be scanned.
To make it super simple, once they download the app, users can to watch an instructional video to see just how to use Bing Visual Search.
Manage Your Scan Data With Ease Using the Tag Dashboard
Tag has offered the Scan Data API to connect third-party reporting tools with your scan data, giving you a richer view of your campaign’s performance. Building on this, we now offer the Tag Dashboard, an Excel add-in that displays all of your scan data in preconfigured charts and graphs and gives you the flexibility to work with your data however you need to.
Our Dashboard is now available and is easy to set up and use. It does require a Scan Data API key, which can be requested from our new Key Manager. Simply log into the Key Manager using your Windows Live ID and request the key. Once you have that, you can download the Tag Dashboard add-in for Excel, input your API key and your data will automatically be displayed. The data can be refreshed in near real-time, giving you up to the moment insights into your campaign’s performance.
Microsoft Tag Scanning SDK
Marketers want to be able to build on the power of their brand and easily measure the results of their campaigns. Microsoft Tag has the tools to let you do both.
The Tag Scanning SDK allows you to leverage the functionality of Microsoft Tag and your mobile app to more effectively connect with customers. With the SDK, you can develop smartphone applications that scan Tag barcodes, and connect people to your custom mobile experiences.
The SDK is available for iPhone, Android and now Windows 7.5. You can integrate the Tag technology directly into your mobile app on these three platforms to make things easier for customers — no more searching through multiple barcode scanners and apps. With the Tag Scanning SDK, your customers can stay within your mobile app to get your full-branded experience. Home improvement giant Lowe’s uses the SDK in its mobile app as does Pirq, an app that offers real-time deals. The Scanning SDK allows you to access raw Tag scan and other usage data.
“Meredith Corp. has just announced it had selected Microsoft Tag as the 2D barcode standard across its magazines … Meredith has already used Microsoft tags in its publications like Better Homes and Gardens, Traditional Home, and Family Circle, and for its part, it claims that of people who snap on the ads, 10 percent to 20 percent view or use the ad in some way.” –AdWeek
“Shape magazine got a 30th birthday surprise present from readers armed with cell phones as they flocked to activate 2D mobile codes in order to enter Shape’s 30th anniversary contest. Running in the November issue with almost 1,000 products up for grabs, the sweepstakes used Microsoft Tags throughout the issue to prompt entries.” –MIN
“Filmmaker and digital artist Lisa Kaselak’s latest work in conjunction with creative director and designer Lee Billington “Tag: We’re It” is a wall of identical black droplets (a memory field) which as the observer approaches are framed into scannable Microsoft Tags.” –2D-Code.com