Japan’s KDDI/au introduced two different prototype smart-tag mobile phones to the media. One handset is equipped for close-up scanning from just a few centimeters and another reads data as far away as 10 meters. Combined with GPS global positioning networks these handsets could download coupons and ads from nearby stores, receive and store data for distribution companies or scan merchandise right over the phone to link up with detailed shopping info on the Internet. Of course QR codes are already doing some of these things but smart tags bypass a lot of intermediate steps to cut to the encrypted chase.
By placing companion links in guide plates and posters, the company hopes smart tags could be used to alert the public to danger or emergency situations in designated areas (power outages from earthquakes, train disruption, etc.) and even serve as reference guides/contact points for the handicapped.
Full details here [in Japanese]
– Gail Nakada