JAGTAGs, QR Codes and Apps - Oh, My!

Okay, I admit it — if you had asked me six months ago what a JAGTAG or QR code is, I wouldn’t have been able to give you an intelligent answer. But I’m learning fast and finding out that these odd little boxes popping up everywhere have some nifty benefits once you know how to use them.

Both JAGTAGs (named for the company that developed them) and Quick Response (QR) codes are a proprietary form of advanced 2D bar code technology containing embedded information. JAGTAGs can be used by anyone with a mobile phone and unlimited text messaging capability; no special apps, downloads or mobile web access are required. Simply take a picture of the box shown and text it to the JAGTAG server at 524824 or email it to a specified email address. In return, you receive the stated content via a text message response.

QR codes work on a similar principle, but are targeted to users of smartphones. In this case, the coded box (see examples in the ads on pages 7 and 9) is read using the phone’s built-in QR reader or via a downloadable app. Simply point the phone’s lens at the box, and the reader will either recognize the code or prompt you to take a picture of the image. You will then be taken directly to the specified content (e.g., special promotions/discounts, videos, etc.).

For the uninitiated, “apps” (applications) such as a QR reader are essentially shortcuts to software programs that let you perform specified tasks. These programs are accessible via a computer, smartphone or other electronic device.

To get a better idea of how they work, here are some examples of construction-related apps cited in the article “The Best Construction Management Apps for the iPhone and iPad”, written by Houston Neal, director of marketing at Software Advice (www.softwareadvice.com):

• goBIM — This app lets you view BIM models from your mobile device.

• Concretulator or Concrete Calculator — Both apps help you calculate how much concrete is required for a project.

• BuildCalc — This app lets you perform various types of project estimates and calculations.

Construction publications are getting in on the app action, as well. Take the Sustainable Construction iPad app produced by Cygnus Business Media. Once downloaded, it lets you interactively view articles and additional content from the publication and website, plus sends out alerts as new content becomes available. (Watch for more such apps in the near future.)

You may be asking what any of this technology has to do with you and your business. In a nutshell, it delivers immediate feedback and functionality at your fingertips, 24/7 — meaning you devote less time and energy searching for the materials or tools you need for your business. There may also be ways you can use this technology to enhance interactions with your own customers and prospects.

Need information on how to get started? Just give us a call or drop us a line and we’d be happy to help.