Europe poised for mobile barcode growth

Europe is one year behind the US in terms of mobile barcode adoption, but the arrival of the Olympics to London next year is expected to have a massive impact on usage, according to Dave Marutiak, managing director of Scanbuy UK.
The US experienced a 1,600% increase in barcode activity in 2010, and this has continued into 2011 with a quarter-on-quarter increase of 800%. Marutiak told mobileSQUARED that his firm was experiencing 100,000 scans per month in the first six months of 2010 in the US, but this exploded into life in the second half of the year as brands became more aware of the technology.
There are now over two million scans per month in the US.
Outside of Japan, the US and Canada lead barcode usage, according to Scanbuy, with the UK as the leading European country, followed by Spain and Scandinavia.
Marutiak says Europe is catching the US up through operators encouraging the software to be embedded on devices, and with brands adopting stylish, high-resolution codes.
“We will see the same kind of bend in the growth curve here in the UK – as we’ve seen in the US - because of the Olympics in 2012,” states Marutiak. “There will be a lot of barcode activity around the Olympics. The one I like was the barcodes on the beach volleyball bikinis [at the pre-Olympic test matches].”
In the UK, Marutiak says retailer Marks & Spencer are “hot on the barcode technology”, and also cited activity from DIY store B&Q. But he also believes the publishing industry has embraced the technology, with newspaper The Metro including up to five barcodes per issue, and The Sunday Times up to 25 different codes per issue.
The fact newspapers can run multiple barcodes per issue is testimony to the mobile barcode industry evolving beyond the required standardized model that has restricted its development to date. As Marutiak highlights, “our server sees multiple codes being used in over 130 countries - it’s a full mix and match environment.”
He added: “The proof is in the pudding, people are clicking on these thousands of times per day.”

Original article: Europe set to follow US with explosive barcode growth in 2012