Wisertag - NFC Ready

Nos apasiona NFC y las posibilidades de esta tecnología. Por esta razón, estamos trabajando arduamente para ofrecer soluciones de Connected Things que aumenten nuestro compromiso con las cosas mundanas.

Nuestra misión es conectar las cosas con las personas, desde una planta de interior hasta un plato de alta cocina. En última instancia, queremos que las personas amen las cosas que deben e interactúen con ellas.

El producto de nuestra elección para la mayoría de las aplicaciones es NTAG 213. Es un hermoso chip NFC que tiene suficiente memoria para almacenar una URL NDEF simple que apunta a una aplicación web. Combinado con un código de barras, permite a todos conectarse con la cosa en cuestión.

¡Estamos aquí para resolver cualquier pregunta relacionada con NFC que pueda tener! ¡Por favor póngase en contacto con nosotros!

Wrong QR code vs Good QR code

Lack of analytics

Including analytics is crucial when generating a QR code. Because QR codes are usually used in a marketing context, it is important that we track as many metrics as we can. We need to know if the QR is doing the best it can for us. Otherwise, we’d be wasting valuable resources.

One way to include analytics is to embed Google Tag manager into your landing page. Once that is done, you have to add UTM tags to the URL as a query string. You could add a utm_source and utm_medium to track the QR code.

If the previous sounds too complicated, we have good news for you. We have been working on a QR code generator that would do it all for you. If you generated the QR code using our Dynamic QR code generator, you could see many statistics like the device types, location of the users, number of visits and more. It is all free of charge using our platform.

Not using a dynamic link

One of the most frustrating mistakes many people make when they generate their barcode for the first time is that they directly point the QR code to their website. This is a problem because your website might change and your code would be already printed and pointing to the wrong place.

The best way to solve this problem is creating a short link like Google Shortener or Bitly. After generating a link, you can create a QR code pointing to that link. You can print that QR code safely, and if your website ever changes, you just need to log in to your URL shortener provider and change it.

As an alternative, we would like to offer our Dynamic QR codes. They are super fast and you can even design mobile optimised landing pages for your QR codes.

Too much data

If your URL or data is too long, the QR code will be really big. One consequence of this is that it would have to be printed at a bigger scale, and if it ever get’s damaged, it is more likely that people would not be able to scan it.

The main advantage of reducing the data is that you’d save a ton of space in the QR code. That space that you would save by reducing the data would be better used with a good frame calling the user to action. There are many frames and ways to increase the effectiveness of a QR code.

So… the quick tip is to use a Dynamic QR code generator that uses a URL shortener. This way the QR code will be as small as it can be. If you are in the search for a QR code generator, we have created one that you can totally use.

Too much data vs normal QR code
Too much data is a common mistake

Printing too small

When the code is too small, we have a similar problem than when we include too much data. The code is vulnerable to damage and your customers would have a harder time trying to scan it. We can not afford letting customers down when they made the effort of scanning the QR code for us.

QR codes should have a size so that customers can scan it from a reasonable distance, which depends on your medium.

Examples:

  • If the code is meant to be displayed in a bus, the QR code should be big enough so that people walking on sidewalk could scan it.
  • If the code was to be printed in a book, it should be big enough so that a standard phone could read it from about 20cm. The QR code should be about 3cm x 3cm.

Therefore, the trick is to prevent this problem is to ensure that the code is readable at a reasonable distance. If you have doubts, compare your code with other products that already use QR codes.

Small code vs normal
Avoid making your QR code too small

Not calling to action

It is critical to call the user to action! Most customers have already seen QR codes and they know how they work. However, it is very likely that they don’t know what is behind your QR code. Many QR codes lead nowhere or become even dangerous.

Therefore, you need to let your users know what is behind the QR code. And you must ensure that they understand what they’d be missing out if they don’t scan the barcode.

There are hundreds of ways to bait the user into scanning the QR code. Marketing is a field that deeply explores these oportunities. QR codes are just another marketing tool, and it should be used in company of other marketing ideas.

To ilustrate this, there are some common CTAs (Calls to actions):

  • “Collect your reward”
  • “Give your feedback”
  • “Buy now”
  • “Download now”
  • “Listen for free”
  • “Watch for free”
Add a clear Call To Action

Remember, QR codes are just another marketing tool, and we have to use it with a good Call To Action. The user will respond scanning the QR code.

Not testing the QR code

Finally, it is extremely important that we test the QR code before publishing it. This rule applies to most things in life, and it a good practice to get used to. However, we have seen many products that are already comertialised, but the QR code in their packaging is leading users to a broken page.

To prevent this problem, test your QR code multiple times and with multiple devices:

  • Test on iOS
  • Test on Android
  • Test before printing
  • Test after printing
  • Test after prototype
  • Test after production

You should test it before printing and once you have created a prototype of your product. Then once again after the production starts, because it is possible that the QR code is not printed correctly during the production phase.

Being lazy or forgetting to test the QR code are common mistakes that can cost you the entire campaign. Please, test your QR codes!

Helping you

We are a bunch of people passionate about technology and QR codes. If you have any questions, please let us know at [email protected] and we will help you deliver great products and campaigns!

If you are struggling, we’d love to suggest trying our Dynamic QR Code generator. We have put a lot of effort into creating a neat experience that would solve most of your problems regarding QR codes.

We are very excited because we have been accepted as an Alpha Startup in the Web Summit Lisbon 2019!

This means that we are currently preparing for the event, and as part of our preparation, we learned a few things that could be useful to other people attending this or future events.

1. update Company profiles in mayor sites

As part of your application, you might be asked to provide the URL to some of the most relevant company directories around the internet. It is a good idea to have them all updated and ready for investors and other visitors to see.

The most important platforms to update are:

2. complete your profile early

Ensure you don’t miss the deadline to complete your company profile. They need this information to print the Exhibition board, and if you don’t provide it on time, your company might not receive the exhibition board or even be assigned a spot to exhibit your product.

Web Summit 2019 Exhibition board for Wisertag
Web Summit 2019 Exhibition board for Wisertag

3. Record a demo video

An image is worth a thousand words, and a video even more. If you have a product, it would be a great idea to prepare a small demo video to show potential investors, visitors and anyone interested.

One of the advantages is that you could potentially present the demo video to the Machine Demo contest. You can present the product in stage and get some healthy (or unhealthy but useful) feedback.

  • Shorter than 1:30 minutes
  • Very quick introduction to problem
  • Clearly demonstrate the user solving the problem using your product
  • Close with a link to your website or email to learn more
  • Upload it to YouTube (you could start a YouTube channel if you don’t have one).
  • Upload it to Vimeo
  • Apply to the Web Summit Machine Demo contest

4. Prepare your pitch

Preparing the elevator pitch is critical, and quite a challenge for most people. I am by no means an expert on this topic, but it’s always simpler to give advice than to apply it to yourself.

  • Read the Web Summit tips
  • Shorter than 60 seconds
  • Start with a hook line. It should be something that intrigues the listener. Look for clickbait inspirations like the title of this article ;).
  • Write a simple deck with notes to clear your thoughts.
  • Record yourself doing the speach as many times necessary. Many things that we write down don’t really make sense when we say them outloud. Practicing speaking is critical.
  • This elevator pitch would be a great tool in your toolbelt anytime you meet someone interested in the product.
  • Apply to the Web Summit PITCH contest

5. Prepare something catchy to give away at the event

People love freebies, and that is a great oportunity to spread your word. You should come up with an interesting idea to give away!

  • Look for something cheap and interesting. This way you could give more, without bankrupting your company.
  • It should be catchy. People would love it if it catch their eye.
  • Think about that ahead of time, because time passes quickly. Otherwise, the day of the event will come, and you will not have time to prepare anything.
  • Think about the necessities of a crowd of 80000 people in a technology event. I bet people will have battery shortage, so giving away USB chargers could be amazing to attract the crowd. Candies and ice cream always work too :).

Good luck!

We look forward to meeting you all at the event!

Wisertag Team.

Wisertag - NFC Ready

We are passionate about NFC and the possibilities of this technology. For this reason, we are working hard to deliver Connected Things solutions that would increase our engagement with mundane things.

Our mission is to connect things with people, from a houseplant to a high cuisine dinner plate. We ultimately want to people to love the things they owe and interact with.

The product of our choice for most applications is NTAG 213. It is a beatiful NFC chip that has enough memory to store a simple NDEF URL pointing to a web application. Combined with a barcode, it allows everyone to connect with the thing in question.

We are here to solve any NFC related questions you may have! Please get in touch with us!

Wisertag Plant QR and NFC tag for plant details

In my humble opinion, the future is IoT. Things that are connected to the internet and allow you to interact with them remotely, without actually touching them or even being in the same place they are.

We can dream a lot of ideas using the concept of Internet of Things like connected coffee machines and other kitchen apparels. But we can also dream connected small items like a glass that knows it’s content and can react to it, or a pair of shoes that gives you data about your walking habits. 

One day, every item will be connected to the internet. However, for the time being, there are some major barriers that will take some time to overcome:

  • Energy: Any electronic PCB will require energy to function. It is not clear how a small item like a price tag could store and receive this energy, without being a hassle.
  • Price: IoT must be extremely cheap, otherwise already cheap items could not use it, because the IoT chip would cost more than the actual item.
  • Internet connection: How would these items exactly connect to the internet?
  • Development price: Developing an IoT solution is quite expensive at the moment.
  • Size and weight: We need IoT chips and sensors that are easy to integrate and with a really small footprint, otherwise it’d be difficult to get mass adoption.

Connected Things to the rescue

All of these reasons make developing a market fit IoT solution quite expensive for a business, which in turn makes it expensive for the end user. This reason makes IoT unusable for relatively cheap items like a plant or a business card.

This is how the market for Connected Things is born. Connected things are just items that have a tag (simple interface) you can scan with your smartphone. You can get information about it or even interact with it. Our approach to Connected Things is using NFC and QR codes. However, there might be new ways of doing that in the future.

Connected Thing: Wisertag Plants (NFC and QR code that, when scanned with your smartphone, would open details about the plant)

Connected Things don’t tick all the boxes IoT does, but they bring a new dimension to customer engagement. I’d love to buy a plant, scan a tag and quickly get all the information about it, how to take care of it, a watering log and communities around it.

Get in touch with us if you think our ideas are interesting and you want to work with us to build a more engaging world!

As of June 6th, 2019, only iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR have background NFC scanning support. Background NDEF scanning was introduced with iOS 12 for the latest iPhones last year.

For clarification, background scanning means that when a phone gets close to the tag, a notification is displayed with the NDEF action encoded in the tag. It does not require opening or installing any apps.

This year Apple presented iOS 13 at WWDC 2019. iOS 13 brings some interesting NFC updates:

  • Access to the NFC chip UID.
  • Launching a Shortcut with an NFC tag.
  • Better support for most NFC commands, required for some advanced usages.
  • Support for writing NDEF messages. The protocol used for this feature is NFCNDEFTag.
  • Locking an NFC tag already encoded with an NDEF message.

But… what about iPhone 7, 8 and X? These phones have CoreNFC API support, but they don’t have background scanning of NFC tags. An app capable of scanning NFC tags has to be installed and opened to scan NFC tags, and that is slowing down adoption because the experience is not as neat as just getting the phone close to the tag.

There are some rumours that indicate that Apple could potentially launch an update to allow older iPhones to read NFC tags.

For the moment, we will have to keep waiting for that great update that would bring background NFC scanning to iPhone 7, 8 and X. A workaround for the time being (for some applications) is using QR codes, because iOS users are familiarised with them and could scan the QR codes.

Phone scanning a Wisertag NFC card

Based on our experimentation, we have concluded that encouraging clients to install an app is more costly than providing the same functionality with a web application in an app-less manner.

We are therefore big promoters of app-less products that leverage the latest web technologies. These technologies include new web APIs like Service Workers or Progressive Web Applications (PWA).

Case study: loyalty app

A loyalty app is a nice way to engage and retain customers. Recurring revenue is always a great source of income, and it is desirable for all business.

Therefore, there is a great incentive for developing loyalty systems. And the traditional way of implementing them was with loyalty apps in the Apple Store or the Google Play store. But… installing an app is a pain for the user.

However, we found a better way to deliver the same experience to the user without forcing them to install an intrusive usually buggy application requiring a lot of permissions. We created a web application using classic web technologies.

Getting USERS to use the web application

The only missing piece was finding a good way to engage with users. For this matter, we used NFC and QR codes, as the interface is simpler than trying to convince a user to type a web URL on their phone’s browser.

The results are really compelling, as users are more likely to engage with a simple NFC or QR code than they were installing a traditional app.

Phone scanning a Wisertag NFC card
NFC logo and Wisertag logo