Playing Tag with Microsoft



In a video last month, I pointed out a free mobile application from Microsoft (s MSFT) called Tag Reader. Using the software with your mobile phone camera, Tag Reader takes you to a web page specific to the multicolored Tag. Since there’s no lengthy URL input, Tag Reader gets you to information faster, provided you can actually find a Tag to use.

xbox-halo-warsI found my first one today as this month’s copy of Official XBox Magazine just arrived. The inside cover advertisement is for Halo Wars and sure enough, there’s a Tag on the bottom corner of the right page. Above the Tag is says “To view the trailer Five Long Years on your phone, SNAP this tag.”

I did just that on my iPhone and was directed to the Halo Wars product page on Here I can see the expected release date and a summary of the game features. There’s no link to the advertised video, but that’s likely due to my using an iPhone. My guess is that a Windows Mobile device would be able to view the vid, which is hopefully shorter than five long years. If not, you’ll need some extra batteries for your handset. ;)

Has anyone else spotted any Microsoft Tags yet? If not, I expect you could try the application using the above Tag pic if you haven’t seen any Tags. I’m beginning to think that Microsoft went with the colored triangles of Tags due to low-end cameras in handsets. I know that without a true macro mode, my iPhone camera is severely lacking in terms of detail for these types of pics. I’ve tried to take bar-code images with it and I’ve generally found it to be a hit-or-miss activity. The same camera with Tags made of colored triangles, though? It’s worked every time so far.



Just a side note, I’ve found the Griffin Clarify case has made my iPhone camera extremely more useful. I can now use it to take clear pictures of posted stuff as notes instead of having to jot things down. I’ve also been using it for documenting business cards in Evernote with good success.

It really makes a noticeable difference in picture clarity for macro shots and although I hate having a case generally it’s been totally worth it.


Since James has more phones than me I went out and got an HTC Fuze to go with my iPhone today (I don’t know about the Storm, everyone but James seems to detest it). Unlike the tag reader for the iPhone the one for WM works like a holographic checkout scanner: you just sort of wave the tag in front of the camera and it snags it automatically. It was able to scan your tag off an Apple 30″ Cinema display. No trailer here either. Plus the dealer locator didn’t already know my ZIP code off the Fuze’s GPS. Lame! :-)

Dean N.

I was able to get to the website using the Tag image you posted using my Windows Mobile based phone, but there was no trailer for me to see either. Seems like something isn’t configured properly to show visitors the trailer.

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