Enterprise-grade barcode scanning applications and cloud based data collection systems

Dual-Function QR Codes for Transactions and Asset Tracking

April 1, 2014 codeREADr

QR codes printed on coupons, vouchers, tickets, IDs, product labels and equipment tags normally have a single function – typically engagement or validation. If for engagement, a consumer would scan the code. If for validating a transaction or tracking assets, a merchant, venue or field service person would scan it.

What’s a ‘dual-function’ QR code?

It’s a single QR code enabling standard, consumer barcode scanning apps to open Web pages triggered by a scan, while also allowing merchants, venues and businesses to scan the same code with an enterprise app to validate and track its use.

Embedded in the code is a unique, variable transaction ID appended to a URL. When scanned by a consumer, the URL points to a Web page, ideally one optimized for viewing on a mobile device. However, when the same code is scanned by the enterprise app, the code’s ID is captured, validated and stored as a formal scan record. Based on that ID, the enterprise app would respond back the the app-user with defining characteristics of the transaction/item/asset.

URL Engagement

For consumer engagement these URLs would point to Websites or Web pages, optionally with links to download an app or Passbook Pass, initiate a purchase or subscribe to messaging campaigns. For field service applications, depending on the URL’s structure, a scan would present contact info and generic information about the asset or its owner, or optionally it could present an item-level service manual, warranty status and other asset-specific information (e.g. serial number, photo, or other defining characteristic).

ID Validation

For tracking and validation, the codeREADr app captures just the ID from the URL and checks it against a database of valid IDs stored locally on the handset or on a server.

To do this, the codeREADr team built a special feature called ‘Alter Scan’. The feature uses custom, predefined scripts to parse the captured ID from the URL based on its format. With each scan, the ID is validated and additional data is collected, optionally including time, date, location, voice and textual entry and photo capture.

Need a script? Please don’t hesitate to contact codeREADr support.

Field Deployments and Demo

Field Deployments

A regional tourist organization is currently deploying alter-scan technology for visitor passes. They distribute a dual-function QR code printed on the pass to each visitor. Embedded in the code is a URL for the visitor to scan to get pass details, including special offers and their corresponding terms. Also embedded in the code is a unique ID which can be validated by participating merchants using the codeREADr app and the results can be tracked in real-time by the tourist organization.

In this way the tourist organization can evaluate the effectiveness of their programs and the relative success of each offer.

For details on this and other deployments, please contact info [at] codereadr [dot] com

Simple Demo

To test a dual-function code, use the QR codes in the image above. Download a free consumer barcode scanning app and scan both the URL and URL + ID codes. You’ll see that for both codes the consumer app points to a simple mobile Web page for demo purposes.

Then download the codeREADr app, sign in with username temp and password demo and scan both the ID and URL + ID codes. You’ll see that for both codes the codeREADr app will validate the embedded ID ‘A-123’.

The take-away is that the dual-function code supports the functionality of both the URL and ID codes in a single code.

How to Create Dual Function QR Codes and Alter-Scan Scripts

For detailed information please visit the codeREADr Knowledgebase here.