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April 15, 2009

BAR(code) HOPPING

The world is drunk with information and people can’t seem to satisfy their thirst. You’re probably one of the many looking for the next great technological high. Well, you’ll be happy to know that Microsoft has designed a brilliant way to take the party to the streets by turning your smart phone into a digital shot glass with their relatively new product Microsoft Tag Reader.

It basically works like this:

Say you’re walking by a restaurant and you want to know more about the place. All you have to do is pull out your i Phone or Blackberry, snap a photo of their bar code and it will automatically bring up the website the restaurant has assigned to the bar code. It could be their website, ZAGAT rating, menu, etc..

Essentially it is just like clicking on a link but rather than opening a browser on your phone and searching for something, you will get instant access by snapping a picture of a bar code.

From a real estate perspective this will be great because it will allow people to access a lot more information & media connected with listings than can be shared with a flyer. How many times have you driven by house, wanted to know more about it but found that the flyer box was empty, or that the flyer wasn’t very helpful. This technology will eliminate that problem.

But don’t expect this technology to sweep across the industry right away. Real estate agents are usually good at selling real estate and behind the times with technology. It will probably be a while before we see widespread use in the housing market.

I can say that I have just started using this technology and can’t wait to see what kind of interaction it produces!

What does it cost?

The service is free but you have to create an msn live account and download the software to your phone.

It also only works with a few smart phones right now. If you have a Blackberry, i phone, or use Windows Mobile 5 or 6 you can download the program directly from your phone by going to gettag.mobi and hitting download. Palm and other operation systems will be included later.

If you’d like to try it out on a bar code, try the one I created for a listing I have in Greenwood. Just download the program and snap a picture of the bar code below:

This technology is really cool and should prove to be very useful. I’m usually a tea totaler but I must say that I will be stepping up to this bar to imbibe deeply and frequently. See you at the party.

Check out this video on the new tag reader:

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