After seeing this tweet from @innovativeteach AKA Stuart Ball from The Microsoft Partners in Learning Programme-I decided to investigate.
Microsoft Tag is basically a barcode system that can be read by a mobile phone (Free Tag reader here) and linked to text, a URL, V-Card (Virtual Business card) or a Dialler (automatically dials a phone number when scanned).
It’s been around since 2009-a relatively new invention considering QR Codes have existed since 1997.
MS Tag using High Capacity Colour Barcode (HCCB) technology, which makes able to encode more information into relatively small area. Also because of small amount of information, errors can be handled easily for MSTag. For encode 1 byte we need 8 symbols in QR codes, while in MS Tag only 4.
A big difference is that Microsoft Tag is rendered in colour-giving it a ‘patchwork quilt’ look-you can create black and white versions though.
Yes you can ‘create’ colour versions of QR codes but it’s not standard and it doesn’t look as good as MSTag.
Here’s a MS Tag for my website compared to a QR code
Now comes the interesting bit (especially for educational use) you can render the MSTag with ‘dots’ and put an image in the background to create a ‘custom’ tag image- Here’s the MS Tag to link to my blog again.
This is a really easy process (Instructions) , using powerpoint-to do this with a QR code is difficult, time consuming and beyond the creative skills of most people.
Yet with a MS Tag even kids can do it-How about a space topic MSTag?
Am sure people can think of loads of uses in education-would be great if people would use the comments section to do this!