Innovation That Matters

App lets users attach digital content to any barcode

Publishing & Media

It’s a rare product today that doesn’t come with a barcode. Much the way 94wines lets buyers personalize its QR-enabled bottles with their own digital content, so Stickybits lets anyone scan any product barcode and append their own music, text, photos or video content. Where 94wines provides a QR code with each bottle it sells—enabling buyers to link the content they wish to the bottles they purchase—Stickybits lets consumers add digital content to any barcode out there. Users need only download the free Stickybits app—it’s available for both Android and iPhone—scan a barcode, and attach content. When the geo-tagged barcode is scanned again by someone else, they’ll see whatever was attached to it along with who else has scanned it along the way. Users can even be notified when a barcode is scanned, gets new attachments or changes location. Also available from Stickybits, meanwhile, are barcode stickers that can be attached to anything—similar, in many ways, to what Tikitag did with RFID—as well as downloadable, printable barcodes that can be glued, ironed, printed, tattooed or otherwise stuck onto anything in the real world. Stickers are priced starting at USD 9.95 for a pack of 20. Thanks to a partnership with Zazzle, Stickybits also offers birthday cards, business cards, mugs and shirts with unique, content-enabled barcodes printed on them. Stickybits distributed 12,000 packs of its stickers last month at SXSWi, according to media reports, so there are almost certainly consumer products with content-enriched barcodes circulating in the wild by now. The digital graffiti possibilities are undeniable, but so are the marketing opportunities. In some ways, it’s like the early days of the web all over again—who will be first to charge brands for the right to post the first content on their own brands’ barcodes, as TechCrunch points out…? And which brands will be first to start enhancing their barcodes with compelling content? (Related: More decorative, designer barcodesGoogle window decals link online & off for retailers.) Spotted by: Jim Stewart



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