Touchcode: Going QR One Better

QR Codes continue to fire up marketing professionals and their smartphone addicted clients who relish the ability to send readers to their websites with the click of the button, but QR is not the only game in town. Printechnologies GmbH’s Touchcode system recently was named a Gold winner in this year’s Wall Street Journal Technology Innovation Awards, and gives us a good idea of where print-interactivity is headed.

Touchcode allows invisible codes to be printed on publication pages, marketing materials and other paper items, which transport readers to special web pages when placed on a smartphone or tablet computer, saving the reader the trouble of snapping a photo as they must with QR Codes. (Quad/Graphics employed a similar technology in the October issue of Milwaukee Magazine, making every page interactive.)

While the use of an invisible code makes it more difficult for scammers to generate their own, the digital content also sits on Printechnologies’ servers, which makes this a long-term commitment between the marketer and the technology company.

Giant German media giant Axel Springer AG recently used Touchcode in a Sunday newspaper’s magazine; the code allowed readers to download a free copy of the magazine’s iPad edition.

And therein lies the same problem that’s dogged QR Codes for years. It isn’t the technology that prevents this print-Web interaction from becoming the cash cow so many dream that it could be, but the unimaginative, value-not-added enticements dangled before poor readers as bait.

Have you seen an excellent use of print-Web interactivity? Please, please send it to [email protected] or leave it in the comments below.

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