Pair collaborate to build bar code scanners into mobile devices
Supply chain standards organisation, GS1, and Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) are collaborating to enable bar code scanning features to be built directly into mobile devices. This will make it easier for application developers to allow their apps to scan and link to trusted content.
The pair are creating a specification that will help the mobile app developer community to work within the m-commerce and mobile advertising industry, stated OMA board of directors vice chairman, Bryan Sullivan.
Sullivan explained: 'Mobiledata is growing exponentially and bar code scanning is a key driver for consumers to access data and media owners to engage users. Today, the industry is working with a bar codes ecosystem that is fragmented by non-standard solutions. This specification will enable application developer innovation for the m-commerce and mobile advertising industry, allowing companies to develop interoperable and scalable applications.'
GS1 and OMA will develop a new specification using existing GS1 and OMA standards. It will allow mobile device manufacturers and operators to build mobile devices with the key bar code scanning capabilities, including universal scanning of standardised bar codes, built-in code scanning capability accessible to users manually through the device camera, and also to apps thanks to a web API exposed on the device, and intelligent linking of bar codes with trusted content provided by the owners of the bar codes.
For application developers, the specification will simplify and accelerate deployment of applications that use code scanning by providing more flexible integration of code scanning into applications and seamless and a more consistent user experience, plus reduced time to market as common standards and enablers will reduce both complexity and development costs.
Said John Phillips, SVP customer supply chain and logistics at PepsiCo: 'Our consumers are increasingly using mobile devices to research and purchase products. This new specification will allow more consumers to access accurate and trusted product information to help them with their daily lives<a name='-GoBack'></a>.'
The two organisations aim to launch the new specification in 2014 and encourage companies to actively participate in the development process this year. The initial list of companies participating includes Fujitsu, NEC and AT&T.
GS1 manages the system of product barcodes used by close to two million companies on billions of products across the world. OMA is recognised for a wide range specifications and application programming interfaces (APIs) to enable mobile services. These include OMA device management, which has been deployed on over 1.4 billion devices. The two organisations have been working together since 2011.