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Touchcodes - More intuitive than QR Codes?


As QR codes are beginning to revolutionize the convergence between the web and mobile, building new ways for brands to interact with customers, adding the power of interactivity, data & information for advertising campaigns, I have always found that it is not easy for not so tech-savvy customers to appreciate & experience the power of this technology.I believe that for successful adoption of high-end or innovative technologies, simplicity is key. QR codes still are a bit complicated for wider adoption.

In fact, a few months back in India when I was a part in an internal company marketing conference,  some of the new marketing initiatives had QR codes being integrated as a part of their campaigns. Sadly, neither the channel partners nor the sales folks nor the senior management folks knew how to use or leverage it. It left me thinking about its challenges for wider adoption amongst consumers. 

Recently, I came across an interesting technology called Touchcodes which appealed a lot to me. I loved the simplicity and ease of use. It was a lot more intuitive and did not require new learning from the average consumer.

Here's how it works:

" the new technology works by embedding  a thin layer of capacitive material in printed items like business cards, tickets, magazine pages, or product packaging. When you hold the paper to a capacitive touch screen, it acts like a set of invisible fingers tapping out a complex code that’s interpreted by a Touchcode-enabled app or website."


I believe it has some lovely applications that are very intuitive and comes naturally to us in the way we  are used to doing things :

  • Imagine a coupons being distributed by retail stores and can be read on the phone by placing the coupon on the touchscreen of the mobile. This can ensure instant redemption and also trackback mobile nos available against the existing member databases.
  • Can be in ads in magazines and the customers can just cut the card and place it on the touchscreen of their mobiles to avail of instant trial/samples.
  • Catalogs can be customized with touchcode cards for availing customized offers.
  • Imagine holding your phone in a supermarket, touching the pasta box and getting instant recipes on your mobile phone!
  • The data captured can be very useful for customized marketing programs


QR Codes are not going away soon but I do see Touchcodes being adopted soon for many applications across offline media, web & mobile.

The "natural interactivity" they come with is a compelling story for marketers.