The Media Guru

Sep 14, 2007


Mobile codes are codes in the same way as ordinary barcodes are, but their matrix structure can hold more information. The codes are also mobile in the sense that you can use the camera on your mobile device to scan and decode them.
You can convert a web address (URL), a phone number, an email address or plain text into a mobile code. After scanning it with your camera phone, you will have instant access to the encoded information straight on the display of your mobile device.
Mobile codes are increasing in popularity. You can find them these days pretty much anywhere: as tags on flyers and posters; on business cards and CVs; in magazines and blogs; offline and online. They are a great way of sharing information with friends and communicating your message to strangers in a fun way.

Nokia has implemented its own system of mobile codes that can be used with any S60 smartphone.

Incidentally, mobile codes have been featured on BBC’s Click this week. Spencer Kelly tested his N95 on an advertising mobile code billboard (S60 3rd Edition devices have the barcode application built-in for decoding mobile codes).

The two currently available open-standard formats for 2D matrix-based codes are Datamatrix (DM) and Quick Response (QR) and are widely used in several fields.

Datamatrix (DM) open-standard
A Datamatrix (DM) code looks like this one above, created using the code generator provided on these pages. It is recognizable by the L-shaped solid border for detection and the 2 broken borders opposite. Don't forget to keep a margin or 'quiet zone' around your codes.

Quick Response (QR) open-standard A Quick Response (QR) code, like the one above, will be recognizable by the three position detection patterns located at three corners of the symbol. Use a compatible code reader on your mobile phone to scan and decode. Don't forget to keep a margin or 'quiet zone' around your codes.

The following codes are private-owned but can also be used:

Cool Datamatrix Code

All the above codes can be read by a compatible code reader, which gives this:

The best reader I’ve found is Kaywa Reader, which reads all codes I’ve come across. It has support for almost all S60 phones, including V1, V2 & 3rd Edition. Scanning & reading is done almost instantly.
Download here: (Registration required)

However, the only time Kaywa failed me was with my Nokia Battery. It didn’t recognise the mobile code printed at the back (maybe because my phone camera is only 1 MP). But when I scanned it & converted it to negative image, it worked perfectly.

Make Your Own Codes:

Microsoft had also released a mobile code reader system as part of Windows Live Barcode, but the project was discontinued for unknown reasons.

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Chervine said...

24 hr chrono net!

Anonymous said...

Great write up.

I am guessing by now that everyone knows that the Nokia reader does not work well with all 2D, QR, Data matrix codes.

Nokia is working with MC2. Could Nokia be embedding a better developed multi code reader into their products in the near future?

Time will tell.

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