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Serious Games Combining MR And Mobile Tagging

The objective of Martha Gabriel’s presentation was to describe the potential of Mobile Tagging as a tool for increasing and spreading the effects of Mixed Realities. In this sense, she started by introducing the main concepts and some examples of Mixed Realities followed by the concepts and examples of Mobile Tagging, showing that they are connected and can mutually benefit.

Mixed Realities

Martha Gabriel provides examples of MR unlimited possibilities, encompassing arts, entertainment, assisted maintenance, medicine, advertising and marketing.

Here is a sample:
The Future of Maintenance
BMW's working to create augmented reality maintenance tutorials for service technicians seen through a pair of Augmented Reality goggles - with narration. The future is now!

MINI Cabrio – AR Campaign

Layar - World’s First Mobile AR Browser
Layar is an augmented reality browser developed in the Netherlands by SPRXMobile. Users can pan their cell phone cameras around and see nearby buildings and spaces tagged with information from the web.

Mobile Tagging - Connecting Static Information Carriers With The Internet

Mobile tagging is the process of providing data on mobile devices, commonly through the use of data (such as URL) encoded in a two-dimensional barcode, meant to be read and input using a camera phone.

The vision behind mobile tagging is the idea of an absolute convergence between information media. Mobile tagging connects static information carriers with the Internet and encourages the interactive behaviour of the user.

However, the future success will not be attributed to simply linking to URLs. The real enterprise solutions are where the codes will be monetized. Customization for business and commercial use will be at the forefront of intelligent and professional use - examples of which are e.govt., tourism, advertising and targeted marketing - packaging, supply chain management, brand management and brand protection, logistics, track & trace, anti-counterfeit or smuggling, id & passports, transport & ticketing, parking, disability, crm, cross media campaigns, etc.

The reason for the success of mobile tagging, besides the flexible and multiple fields of application, is the quick, precise and customer-driven access to information. According to the principle of physical world connection, the user is able to gather digital information immediately by scanning a two-dimensional barcode.
By virtue of 2d barcodes, objects that have been very static so far gain in interactivity and dynamic. The opportunities for the advertising industry which result from this effect are immense.
Currently about 70 different types of barcodes and their specific versions exist and are mostly in use in the field of logistics.
In terms of mobile tagging, the number of codes is essentially restricted to a dozen types. For reading out 2d-barcodes it is essential to install specific software, a reader, on the mobile device.


In 2009, Microsoft introduced the Microsoft Tag format, based on the company's self-developed High Capacity Color Barcode (HCCB) standard, in an effort to establish the format through emerging mobile tagging markets in the west. Unlike most popular 2D barcodes, which use black-and-white square pixels, HCCBs are based on colors in a triangle-based arrangement.

Mobile tagging has so far been most prominent in Asia, especially Japan. It was developed in 2003 and ever since it has been used in several fields of mobile marketing.

In Europe mobile tagging is now gaining traction and its primary use has been direct linking of URLs to 2D codes.

At present, mobile tagging is not only finding its way into the day-to-day-life of many Asians, it also concerns Europeans. There have already been a couple of campaigns in the fields of commercial (multi-dimensional barcodes, especially in the fields of mobile marketing and advertising), public tagging (barcodes serving as a hyperlink to additional information on public information carriers) and private tagging (creating direct hyperlinks on blogs or profiles and offers novel opportunities for self-introduction).

The Future - Bokode MIT

A Bokode is a type of data tag that which holds thousands of times more information than a barcode and has been developed at the MIT Media Lab. They are also working on prototypes that can be read from distances of 20 meters or more.

Bokodes open up a whole new range of applications in the areas of tagging, user interaction, and machine vision and near field communication not possible with traditional barcodes.

Imperceptible visual tags for camera based interaction from a distance

Here are mockup sketches of just some possible application scenarios for Bokodes.

Street Mapping Services such as Google Streetview: Shops use Bokodes to provide meta information to the trucks as they drive down the street taking pictures.

Multi-user interaction with a large display in a classroom or conference: The participants use Bokodes with unique identifiers to interact with displays from a distance.

Crowd Gaming in Public Spaces: Participants use Bokodes to control their characters on a shared display from a distance.

Debriefing Mobile Tagging & Mixed Reality

Because mobile tagging is physical link to the online digital world, they are also augmenting reality tools that add a new digital data layer to reality.

Therefore, mobile tagging is at present one of the most efficient ways of creating mixed reality.