Brussels, Belgium and San Diego, CA- GS1 and Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) are collaborating to enable bar code scanning features built directly into mobile devices. This will make it easier for application developers to allow their apps to scan and link to trusted content.

“Mobile data 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 mCommerce and mobile advertising industry, allowing companies to develop interoperable and scalable applications,” commented Bryan Sullivan, OMA Board of Directors Vice-chairman.

GS1, the supply chain standards organisation, manages the system of product barcodes used by close to 2 million companies on billions of products across the world. OMA, the mobile standards organisation, is recognised for a wide range of specifications and application programming interfaces (APIs) to enable mobile services. These include OMA DM (device management), which has been deployed on over 1.4 billion devices. The two organisations have been working together since 2011.

GS1 and OMA will develop a new specification leveraging existing GS1 and OMA standards. It will allow mobile device manufacturers and operators to build mobile devices with the following key bar code scanning capabilities:

  • Universal scanning of standardised bar codes.
  • Built-in code scanning capability accessible to users manually through the device camera, and also to applications thanks to a Web API exposed on the device.
  • Intelligent linking of bar codes with trusted content provided by the owners of the bar codes.
  • Support for collection of user analytics including location on an opt-in basis.

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.
  • Seamless and more consistent user experience, reduced time to market: common standards and enablers will reduce both complexity and development costs.

Ultimately consumers will benefit through a new generation of more intuitive applications.

“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,” said John Phillips, SVP Customer Supply Chain and Logistics at PepsiCo.

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