A new mobile phone app for Android and iPhone, called stickybits, is poised to provide a back story to the things around us by connecting barcodes and the Internet. Stickybits launched at this year’s SXSW tech and culture expo in Austin, and it performs a function that no one has thought of before: it links a barcode tag with an Internet site that could contain text, video or audio that relates to the barcode.
What can you do with this application? Essentially this takes point-of-sale and barcode tracking software that was previously a commercial or enterprise technology and gives it to anyone with a compatible phone and a stickybits account. A user prints out a free barcode, purchases a pack of vinyl barcode stickers from stickybits or scans an existing barcode from found ‘in the wild.’ This code is imprinted with media selected by the first scanner, which then brings up the link to anyone else who scans the barcode.
All of the scanning is handled through the phone’s camera and the data gets entered into the stickybits database. With the tools provided by stickybits you could run a complete inventory system for a store or go around tagging everyday objects with histories and media like an invisible graffiti artist.
For more on stickybits, check out http://techcrunch.com/2010/03/08/stickybits-barcodes-message-boards/