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Device ID

Device ID

The Microsoft Tag solution’s Device ID capability enables you to distinguish each mobile phone that scans a Tag barcode, QR Code, or NFC touchpoint with the Tag app via a unique Device ID. The Device ID is returned as part of a URL each time one of your URL recognition technologies is scanned or tapped, identifying the individual mobile phone. Using this data, you can determine how often a device is engaging with your campaign, and program a Tag barcode, QR Code, or NFC touchpoint to deliver a different experience with each engagement. 


Device ID data can also be returned when users scan QR Codes or NFC URLs created on the Tag platform using 3rd party apps. However, due to device and carrier limitations, we cannot guarantee that the data will be returned upon every scan. For that reason, we recommend that if you are running a campaign that is dependent on Device ID, you use a Tag barcode which provides a more consistent and reliable experience.

Download a .pdf version with more information Device ID.

Supported Platforms

Device ID for Microsoft Tag is compatible with the following platforms:

Platform Tag Barcodes QR Codes NFC URL
Android X X X
Blackberry 6.0 X
iPhone X X
J2ME X
Palm OS X
Symbian X
Windows Mobile X
Windows Phone 7 X
Windows Phone 7.5 X

Note: QR Codes and NFC URLs must be created with Microsoft Tag Manager and scanned (or tapped) with the Microsoft Tag app in order to use Device ID functionality.

Using Device ID

The Device ID is a base-64 alphanumeric string and can include up to 256 characters. In Tag Manager, when you enter the URL in the Mobile URL box of a URL Tag barcode, QR Code, or NFC URL, type the text {!deviceID} in the URL at the location where you want the Device ID to be inserted. For example:


www.foo.com/?id={!deviceID}


Device IDs are unique; no two phones will have duplicate Device IDs. The Device ID that you receive is also specific to your Tag Manager account. It will be the same every time a given device scans one of your 2D barcodes or taps an NFC touchpoint, with one important exception: The same device will have a different Device ID when it scans Tag barcodes, QR Codes, or NFC touchpoints created under a different Tag Manager account. If you want to see consistent Device ID information, you must create all your Tags and other recognition technologies using the same Tag Manager account.


In rare cases, a given phone may return more than one Device ID. In this event, the Device ID will be registered as a new user. If a Device ID of 41 zeros ("00000000000000000000000000000000000000000") is returned, this indicates that the device is using an earlier, beta version of the Tag app (formerly called the Tag Reader application) that does not support Device ID.


Also note that if a user completely uninstalls and then reinstalls the Tag app, a new Device ID will be generated for that phone.

Linking Devices and Accounts

In some scenarios, you may want to link a Tag barcode, QR code, or NFC touchpoint that a user scans or taps with an existing customer account on your website. To do this, you must associate the Device ID with the username for that customer account. Similarly, you can incorporate a URL recognition technology in your existing loyalty system by associating the Device ID with the person’s customer number.


There are two general approaches to associating a Device ID with an existing customer account:


1. Scan, then enter. In this approach, users enter their account information on their mobile phones. When they scan your Tag barcode, for example, the Tag app opens your web page and passes the given Device ID as part of the URL. If you do not recognize the Device ID, you can prompt the user to enter his or her account information (such as a username or customer number). The user will only have to enter account information once. The next time the user scans any of your Tag recognition technologies using the Tag app, you can use the saved information to look up the user’s account information.


2. Log on and scan. This approach links the device to a user account when the user scans a Tag barcode, QR Code, or NFC touchpoint that is already associated with an existing account. For example, you may display a Tag barcode on a web page after the user has signed in. When the user scans the Tag, you will receive the Device ID and can associate it with the Tag. This can also work from a Tag barcode or QR Code on a printed receipt or other item that is generated based on a specific user account.

Personal Information and Privacy

The Device ID does not contain any personal information about the user or the user’s mobile phone. It is an anonymous but persistent number that uniquely identifies a particular mobile phone. Although the Device ID is sometimes based on another device-specific number, such as the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number, it does not correspond to any other identification system.

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