The QR code alternative allows magazine readers to download promotional offers on BlackBerry handsets as well as the latest info on the upcoming BB10

Rogers, RIM team up on NFC print ad tech

Research in Motion and Rogers Communication have partnered with near field communication marketing platform provider Crosscliq of Markham, Ont. to develop an NFC tool that allows consumers an alternative to QR codes which will allow them to download to their phones promotional offers, product information and even applications.

Readers of Roger’s Connected magazine for instance can simply use their smartphone to scan an icon appearing on last December’s issue and they can instantly download gift offers, obtain information about the BB10 products, download free premium BlackBerry applications and even download the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce Suretap mobile payment app.

The concept is simple, when the user of a mobile device with a built-in NFC scans an NFC-tag embedded on a magazine, billboard or other product, the tag will transmit information to the device or cause the device to execute some form of action. The technology however, unlike QR codes, has not caught.

On the other hand QR codes have become rather ubiquitous. You can even find QR codes on posters in subway stations where there are no cell signals and on billboards 50 metres above the ground where no smartphone user can hope to scan it.

Over the last two year there has been a spike in QR code use thanks to its adoption by many big brands. Some users however find the technology unwieldy as they often involve downloading a separate app, and scanning the QR image does not always guarantee a good connection.

A YouTube video of the new NFC tool makes it appear that it may be much easier to use than QR codes. NFC however shares the same drawback as its competitor, it won’t work in the subway where there’s no cell signal.

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