QR / 2D Barcode Scanner

contento#WP

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Has anyone had any luck with either the MS TAG app or the other QR Reader app in the marketplace currently? Man, they both really suck. lol. I'm in the business of creating marketing campaigns with QR codes, so I sure hope SOMEONE get's one working SOON.

In all that I've tested, this is bar FAR the best one: 3GVision's i-nigma (on Android, iOS, and blackberry). Sadly, no WP7 app yet. It reads practically every code I've ever scanned INSTANTLY..no focus issues, or placement on screen, etc.

ZXing's app is ok, too, but also no WP7 app.

Anyone have any lines on others that are currently working? I need one for my new WP7 BADLY.

Thanks all!
 

Guy_serious

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microsoft has an app called "tag reader" thats supposed to mimic the same kind of functionality of the barcode scanner...but w/o the barcode scanner.

It takes a pic of the barcode then scans it natively within the app. Problem is, that if there is a problem with the photo, you have to take the picture all over again. Not very usable, but its a start till someone else fills in the gaps on the market
 

lucazzo

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A simple improvement on the Tag Reader that would cut 90% of the hassle: one the picture is taken, allow the reader's frame to move around the pic. The main problem right now is to have to take a picture exactly in the middle of the frame for it to work.

I might add, the QR Reader app on the marketplace has yet to read anything for me.
 

contento#WP

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that positioning is much of the problem, but I've had a HECK of a time getting it to read codes on a computer screen. It doesn't handle ANY kind of interference well at all.
 

contento#WP

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"QR Reader" app is currently the best one i've found:

im going to assume you mean on WP7, because it's not even close to the i-nigma scanner on the other platforms.

"tested almost all the barcode scanning apps "
For WP7, what other ones are there besides MS Tag Reader?

Intersting note: the Tag Reader scanner does much better with the colored triangle codes (like the ones linked to the software downloads on wpcentral). Still FAR from good, but better.
 

gbrayut

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I just finished developing a Windows Phone 7 Barcode scanner based on the ZXing library. You should be able to find it in the marketplace under PhraseMeme Scanner or get more information from PhraseMeme Scanner

There are two big issues with the WP7 platform right now when it comes to barcode scanners. First there is very limited access to the camera. Basically all you can do is launch the camera app and have the user take a picture. This means you cannot setup the photo for micro focus, change the resolution, or use a video stream for real time scanning. Second the framework automatically downsizes photos to around 1 Megapixel, so while you might take a 5MP photo it will be processed at 1MP.

I had to do some image resizing to get ZXing to process the photos correctly, and while it works pretty well on my phone in good lighting conditions it might not work well on other phones.

If you download the PhraseMeme app you can take photos and try processing them. If the photo doesn't process correctly try saving and emailing it to the support email address and I'll see if I can improve the scanning algorithm. The next version of the app will make this process much easier so that I can get real world data and hopefully greatly improve the scanning performance.
 

contento#WP

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Not bad given the limitations on the device access to the camera. It's MUCH better than QR reader that's out there now. I've had very good success with scanning so far. Do you forsee MS opening up the camera to more access? I have to turn the flash off because with it on, the code gets totally whitewashed out (too bright). Like you said, switching the camera to macro automatically would be a great help, too.

WELL DONE! (sending you a pm now)
 

gbrayut

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Thanks! Scanning definitely works best when you have good lighting so you don't need to use the flash. Hopefully they will add additional APIs in the January or February releases to allow developers to access the video stream and camera settings. Lots of apps depend on this, so it should be a high priority for Microsoft. I also plan on testing other phones and adding a "Report Barcode Issue" button to improve scanning. Until then you can save any barcodes that you think should scan and email them to Support at PhraseMeme . com and see what I can do to improve scanning.
 

contento#WP

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are you saying MS tag has worked well reading generic QR and matrix codes or TAG style codes? I simply cannot get it to do the former even reasonably well.
 

IamNabil

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Oh, no. It has worked well for reading MS tags. I have created a few to test them out. I like the idea of a tag on my business card, or an MS tag for linking to WP7 apps.
I liked the barcode app links in Android, and I think that the MS tags would do the same thing, look better, and point to one of the big differences between android and WP7: design that doesn't make you want to vomit.
 

contento#WP

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The biggest problem with the MS TAG concept is requirement of a proprietary software on the handheld for scanning. QR codes can be read by dozens and dozens of apps on hundreds and hundreds of devices. I think that's why MS has kind of let it fade into the backdrop, while QR codes are showing up in the mainstream at a rediculous rate and being adopted by major brands (Best Buy, Sears, Nike, NY Times, etc have all started incorporating them into their campaigns). Go check out the cover of this week's NY Times. QR codes can be made to be much prettier than "design that doesn't make you want to vomit"! LOL!

business card is a great idea:
ScanNationCardsBackBryce.jpg


Now you can see why my vested interest in getting the WP7 working!!
 

IamNabil

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I can't think of a main stream smartphone that doesn't have a MS Tag reader.
Would you care to show me a QR code that doesn't look like a digital cow?
 

contento#WP

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I can't think of a main stream smartphone that doesn't have a MS Tag reader.

I had the Crackberry Storm 2 and the Original Droid and neither HAD it on natively. It's not about CAN have MS Tag, it's more about for me MUST have. If you REQUIRE a specific piece of software on the handheld, especially when you are talking about on-the-spot interaction like QR codes, you are going to lose a tremendous number of potential users/customers. If you utilize universal codes, then the odds of a user/customer having SOME kind of workable app on their device already, then your odds go up significantly.

digital cow
LMAO!!

check these out:

This was billed as the FIRST QR CODE used in an American TV spot (HBO True Blood commercial):
true-blood-qr-code.jpg


mints:
100208_frisk_qr1.jpg


Iron Man 2:
Iron_Man_QR_codes.jpg


Um....
set-murakami-vuitton-qr-codes-1-540x500.jpg


and...
qr-codehavas.jpg
 

IamNabil

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Those are nice looking. I haven't seen a QR code like that before.
That said, my Samsung Captivate didn't have a native QR code reader on it. Neither did my father's original Droid.
 

contento#WP

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my Samsung Captivate didn't have a native QR code reader on it. Neither did my father's original Droid.

now imagine you are an advertiser. Wouldn't you rather adopt a code platform that can be read by dozens (and growing) apps or would you chose to adopt a proprietary platform that required the user to have one and only option for the app?

Even further, with the expansion of code uses and smartphone users that are becoming more aware of what these codes are and can do, don't you want to adopt a platform that most other advertisers are implementing so that you can benefit from your competitors' marketing efforts (IE the more codes like yours they see, the more familiar they are with them AND the more likely they are to interact with them). I've spoken with tons of people that recognize QR codes but had no idea what the MS Tag code was.

I think even MS regrets moving in this direction.
 

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