Ever heard of a Semacode?
If you find these familiar, it’s because Semacode has been around for a while already. Wired had an article about how semacode allowed camera phones to link the physical world to web back in May 2004.
As seen in Wikipedia’s entry on semacode, the name is actually a software company based in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. It is also this company’s trade name for symbols which encode internet Uniform Resource Locators (URLs). These symbols are meant to be captured by a cell phone camera where it would then bring up the intended web page.
But that’s not all… Semacode isn’t exactly an original idea. Just watch this Japanese DoCoMo commercial about their “QR Code”.
Japanese phone companies had been using these 2D barcodes as a way for their i-mode phones to pull up web pages from print material, be it on posters, magazines and so on. The Japanese called it “QR Code” and like the semacode, it’s a matrix code (or two-dimensional bar code) for URLs. Created by Japanese corporation Denso-Wave back in 1994, the “QR” is derived from “Quick Response” where users can quickly scan it and get information (e.g. discount coupons). If you’re interested, here’s a decent discussion on the difference between QR Code vs. Semacode
For some reason, semacode hasn’t really taken off in America as well as the QR Code did in Japan. Same thing happened when magazines introduced the CueCat, though that died mostly because users discovered how the CueCat gathered personal information on it’s users (spyware!).
You can generate your own semacode here, then print them on stickers, business cards, posters and even t-shirts to promote your blog. To scan and intepret semacodes on your camera-enabled phone, download the relevant application for your phone.