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Microsoft Tag for Geocaching


djklmnop
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I just learned about this new Microsoft Tag thingy where you can create your own tags that contains a message or takes you to a website, or to exchange phone numbers.

 

You download the tag application for your phone and the program will activate your phone camera. Point it at any tag and it'll automatically decode it and take you to a site or display the intended message.

 

Think of the possibilities for geocaching. Finding a cache with a tag and scanning it to get the next clue :anitongue:

 

Log in to your microsoft passport account and create your own tags - as many as you want. Print the image and stuff it in your cache ;)

 

http://tags.microsoft.com - completely free!

 

Thoughts?

Edited by djklmnop
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I'd like to see geocaching.com take a position on these and put an inclusion/exclusion attribute in the system for them before they got incorporated into caches. I'd sure hate to go after a cache, get out there, then find out that I need a phone that I don't have to complete the cache. An attribute, as with the Chirp, would help me filter those out as long as I don't have the equipment to complete them.

 

Perhaps that's the direction Groundspeak needs to go. Have a more general attribute that says you need some kinda gadget other than a basic GPS to find the cache. That would cover specific phone types, apps, chirps, and whatever else someone comes up with next.

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Personally, I prefer QR to Microsoft Tag.

 

QR encodes the information in the 2D barcode itself. You scan and decode it, you get the information. That's all there is to it.

 

For Microsoft Tag, when you scan and decode it, you get an ID number. You have to query Microsoft's servers to determine what is the information behind this ID number.

 

Listing the advantages and disadvantages of the two systems is left as an exercise to the reader.

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Yes, as has already been pointed out, the Microsoft Tag requires a data connection. While the amount of information in the tag is huge, realistically, it's not really stored in the tag. It's stored in a database. While I don't think that it's a Big Brother rationale to explore what they're being used for, it's really nothing more than a large remote database entry with a pictographic representation for a query.

 

QR codes however have an integral data storage capacity OR linking capability. They're a published standard that can be used without paying royalties to the Nippon Denso corporation. They're accessable to make without specified software on the Internet, OR with readily available free software and can be read with a wide variety of smartphones. Software for which is available for free.

 

With a bit of luck, QR codes will penetrate further into our lifestyles and give real life hyperlinks to information. Not just caches. :laughing:

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Personally, I prefer QR to Microsoft Tag
So which QR Code Generator do you like the best? All this is new to me also.

Google charts probably has one of the most comprehensive free generator - you can tweak just about anything. Not exactly easy to use, and you could generate invalid QR codes that can't be read by other apps if you're not careful.

 

http://code.google.com/apis/chart/docs/gallery/qr_codes.html

 

ZXing has a bare bones one you can use - not much options, but drop dead easy to use.

 

http://zxing.appspot.com/generator/

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I like the idea of using it somehow in a geocache. I've definately seen a puzzle cache before with a bar code puzzle, but I've never bumped into one while out caching. That could be fun, even if I had to come back some other time with the right sort of device.

 

Maybe less cool for me than Chirp. Chirp caches have just passed 100 in the US and over 220 globaly. Watch out Wherigo.

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I ran into a multi with this type of codeing. Drive all the way out there and find out I need an Iphone app.

Not good if you don't have one of these devices. Owner of caches gave me some puzzles to solve to get to the final. All Iphone apps for geocaching _uck!!!! :)

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I ran into a multi with this type of codeing. Drive all the way out there and find out I need an Iphone app.

Not good if you don't have one of these devices. Owner of caches gave me some puzzles to solve to get to the final. All Iphone apps for geocaching _uck!!!! :P

 

The app is for Android devices is as well.

 

I know which multi you're talking about and thought it was a pretty cool multi. Still wonder how the heck the first stage got muggled with where it was at.

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