AT&T Monday unveiled a new barcode reader application called Code Scanner allowing subscribers to scan 2D codes and UPC codes found in magazines and stores as well as online.
To the extent AT&T users download the free app geared to Android and BlackBerry phones, it could help broaden consumer adoption of 2D codes, increasingly popping up in print, outdoor and Internet advertising.
The carrier also launched Create-A-Code, a service that lets anyone create their own personalized mobile barcodes to direct contacts to a v-card, Facebook account, personal blog or recommended Web site. AT&T further announced a code management platform, providing businesses with the tools to create, manage and measure their barcode campaigns.
Earlier this year, AT&T started a 2D barcode charter program to educate customers about the marketing and advertising potential in 2D barcodes. AT&T said it's working with participating companies to test consumer response rates as well as the effectiveness of 2D codes, also known as QR codes, as an interactive marketing vehicle.
Companies such as JagTag create barcodes on behalf of marketers already designed to work on most handsets without requiring any download, special signup or Internet access by the consumer. But AT&T obviously wants to get directly involved in promoting use of barcodes to benefit from increased mobile data usage by customers who may flow from them.
While no iPhone version of the Code Scanner app was included at launch, AT&T said it will be offered on other smartphones in the "near future."