NeoMedia Technologies, Inc. has just said that they will grant Microsoft rights to its patent portfolio. This portfolio includes more than 74 QR code patents.
While there are still no details as to how Microsoft will use these patents, industry observers are speculating that this could be interesting, in light of Apple’s own foray into QR codes with its Passbook mobile wallet system.
In addition, Microsoft has its own mobile barcode, Microsoft Tag, which has been seeing lower than anticipated adoption from marketers and individuals alike. Will this acquisition mean the end of Microsoft Tags or does it mean that the software giant is going to tie QR codes with their proprietary tag?
QR codes have been adopted widely, and are seen to be a marketer’s favorite. Even with similar mobile barcodes such as ScanTags, Microsoft Tag, Datamatrix, Aztec Codes and Shotcode did not dampen how QR codes have been accepted thus far. Not even competing technologies such as near-field communication could make a dent on QR codes’ dominance.
Apple’s move to use QR codes with Passbook is seen to usher in faster acceptance among users. Passbook will be using QR codes to help make it easier for user to add boarding passes, loyalty cards, tickets, and other stuff. For example, an airline’s boarding pass will contain QR codes in it. Scanning that QR code will add your electronic pass to your Passbook. Passbook then gives you up to the minute updates such as changes in boarding gates or flight delays.
Microsoft is also in the business of mobile operating systems with its Windows Phone. This is making people think that they could be gearing up for a showdown in using QR codes for various mobile applications.
NeoMedia is a pioneer in the mobile barcode industry. Its patents deal with different barcode implementations that are used worldwide.
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