Tip: Smartphone — How to Get Your MS Tag On

When every phone is a bar-code scanner, the world of retail could look very different. Exactly how is still a mystery, but developments like Microsoft Tag seem to indicate that some day we will carry in our phones not only the ability to read a bar code but the technology to create tags and to interact with seemingly static media.

To give it a shot, download the beta of MS Tag: From http://gettag.mobi/ either select your handset (see list of manufacturers) or just download the default client for your device's operating system. MS Tag software supports the Android, Blackberry, iPhone (recently added, see here to download), Java 2 Micro Edition, Palm OS, Symbian S60, and - of course - Windows Mobile platforms.

Using the software taxes your data plan, so be mindful of that. As with many such solutions, its best you're on an all-you-can-eat data diet.

To use the software, aim your camera's phone at any Tag, which maybe embedded in an advertisement, object or billboard. The phone then grants you access to the content embedded in the tag-audio, video, maps, social networks, etc.

Examples from the MS Tag website include "snapping" a For Sale sign to get information about a house on the market and instantly ordering and paying for retail items that then just need to be picked up.

Whatever the boon to consumers, the real value may be in advertisers looking for innovative ways to get digital ROI from existing marketing strategies. Tags on print media, for example, have the potential to inspire instant purchases, without diminishing the ad's traditional impact.

See video below to learn more about MS Tag: