Some people have written that it’s ironic that Toyota has decided to use SpyderLynk’s SnapTag technology instead of QR codes. After-all it was the Toyota subsidiary Denso that first developed the QR Code in 1994 as a tracking system for their auto parts manufacturing business. That system, which came pre-installed on mobile phones in Japan soon became a widely used method to connect mobile users to online content.
A Toyota spokesperson explains in the press release that they “sought a barcode technology to extend their marketing efforts and get ahead of the innovation curve.” They’ve gone as far to name the version of SnapTag as the ToyoTag, but even after reading the rest of the press release I’m not sure why they chose SnapTag over other 2D barcode technologies. I suspect it may come down to the ability for a SnapTag to fit in better with a company’s branding. The other reason could be that SnapTag includes alternative connection methods for users to access the online content via established services such as MMS and Email.
The ToyoTag that you see here did not work for me. I have had the ScanTag iPhone app installed for some time and has worked fine on previous occasions. The ToyoTag scans correctly, but it ‘times out’ before it can access the mobile site. It maybe that the tag above may just be a sample and it not active on the SnapTag server right now. When I emailed a photo of the SnapTag to the email included on the graphic, I received an email back within just a few seconds that included a link to the Prius mobile website.
SnapTag’s are also be used in the September issue of Glamour and I’ll be reviewing that later today.