FAIRFAX Media’s “QR code on steroids” is now a reality.
Called AirLink, the new technology transforms ordinary photographs and symbols on print pages into scannable images that can direct consumers to websites or rich media.
Three “significant” advertisers had already signed up to use the tech, and AirLink symbols would begin to appear in Fairfax publications from late March, Metro Media digital publisher Jane Huxley told The PANPA Bulletin.
When scanned by a Sydney Morning Herald or The Age iPhone application, Air-Link images can generate a video or picture gallery.
Ms Huxley predicted AirLink would prove more effective than old-fashioned barcodes or QR – quick response – codes because they fit seamlessly into a print context, adding that humans are “visual animals”.
“When you look at a picture of a Rugby World Cup match, you’re already thinking about rugby.
“So if the picture transports you to a ticket site for the Rugby World Cup you’re already in the right mindframe,” she said.
AirLink was a year in the making, and was created through a partnership between Fairfax, RMIT University in Melbourne, and the University of Wollongong.
Research and development was funded by advertising partners, but AirLink will also have editorial applications.
Similar technology has also emerged in Argentina and South Korea and has already spawned an acronym: MVS, or mobile visual search.
Watch a preview of AirLink in action