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Will barcodes cease to exist? | DesignNotes by Michael Surtees

Will barcodes cease to exist?

SnapTell

SnapTell

SnapTell

Shazam

Shazam

After my less than great experience trying to create and decode some QR codes from a past post on my iPhone I had all but given up on grabbing info via a lens and converting that into meaningful information. Sure there was Shazam that could identify music but I’ve never felt the need to use it much. I figured if there was a song on tv I probably didn’t want to know who sang it anyways and most of my music is streamed online so I tend to know who it is. But it’s still cool app. And then I was tipped off to an even cooler app from Callie Neylan when she visited NYC over the weekend. She mentioned SnapTell which allows an iPhone user to take a picture of book, dvd or video game cover and convert that info into something you can save and if you want – purchase online. The fact that there’s an app that can do just that is pretty convenient, but the online info about prices and searches it can do afterwards is pretty dangerous. It’s insanely easy to buy stuff.

I don’t know if there’s already a term out there for those type of ambient search grabs – but if there is please let me know. While I was shooting books I wondered that if an app can grab that type of info, what’s the need for barcodes? Now if only there was a wine app to grab detailed label info we’d be set.

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  • http://itellstories.org Sameer Vasta

    I've been using SnapTell for a little while now and now don't remember how I could have lived without it. Never thought about how it could eliminate the need for barcodes though. =)

  • http://www.iamtheweather.com seanaes

    When I was a young man and was in somewhere in the punk / hardcore scene there was a very vocal and self-righteous backlash against putting barcodes on records (ha!), cds or your zine. It was seen as a sellout move because it meant your stuff was going to be sold in a store owned by the 'corporate machine' and was considered the opposite of being punk. I never felt too strongly about it, but if barcodes go away, even in this little way, what will future punks have to be angry at?

  • http://designnotes.info/ michaelsurtees

    that's an easy answer, 1. the internet, 2. wifi, 3. music blogs, and 4. all of tumblr (and possibly ffffound). i know this b/c someone passed me a flyer stating their angry intentions…

  • http://www.iamtheweather.com seanaes

    Was there an actual list 1 through 4? That would be awesome.
    But the punk atttitude toward the barcode seemed to be more about being labeled and tracked – and not wanting that control to exist in the systems they rejected. I am not sure if any of the listed items you mention have that kind of control aspect to them, although they enable other systems that do. Note that I do not want to quantify the types of things that punks should rail against – that would be very un-punk.

  • http://www.psfk.com Piers Fawkes

    My initial experience with SnapTell is good. Great idea, works well with US books.