Late last year Microsoft surprised us with the release of their first iPhone app, iTunes link).. The company has now released its second iPhone app, TagReader (
Launch the app and point your iPhone's camera at a Microsoft Tag. The tag then instantly returns information that connects you to more information without typing long URLs. Interesting, but not exactly a new idea. It reminds me of the Radio Shack CueCat - a cute little plastic kitty cat that basically read barcodes and brought up information based on the code scanned. It was the first digital convergence device that I ever owned.
The Microsoft app would be handy in any kind of store--grocery, clothing, electronics, record stores, etc. Scan a food product, and you might be pointed to some recipes. Point it at some clothing and get some information or advice about accessories - belts, shoes, etc. Got something to sell? Tag it Scan the tag and the potential buyer gets all the information about the product that is for sale. .
You can download the app from the app store right now, but like everyone else I have not seen a lot of these tags yet. There is an example tag on this website Microsoft Tag; look for it near the bottom of the web page. If you want to try to create your own tags you can do so currently at this website. An account is required and the service is currently free during the beta period, but there is no information about when or how this might change later.