Playing Tag with Microsoft


In a video last month, I pointed out a free mobile application from Microsoft (s MSFT) called Tag Reader. Using the software with your mobile phone camera, Tag Reader takes you to a web page specific to the multicolored Tag. Since there’s no lengthy URL input, Tag Reader gets you to information faster, provided you can actually find a Tag to use.

xbox-halo-warsI found my first one today as this month’s copy of Official XBox Magazine just arrived. The inside cover advertisement is for Halo Wars and sure enough, there’s a Tag on the bottom corner of the right page. Above the Tag is says “To view the trailer Five Long Years on your phone, SNAP this tag.”

I did just that on my iPhone and was directed to the Halo Wars product page on Here I can see the expected release date and a summary of the game features. There’s no link to the advertised video, but that’s likely due to my using an iPhone. My guess is that a Windows Mobile device would be able to view the vid, which is hopefully shorter than five long years. If not, you’ll need some extra batteries for your handset. ;)

Has anyone else spotted any Microsoft Tags yet? If not, I expect you could try the application using the above Tag pic if you haven’t seen any Tags. I’m beginning to think that Microsoft went with the colored triangles of Tags due to low-end cameras in handsets. I know that without a true macro mode, my iPhone camera is severely lacking in terms of detail for these types of pics. I’ve tried to take bar-code images with it and I’ve generally found it to be a hit-or-miss activity. The same camera with Tags made of colored triangles, though? It’s worked every time so far.