If you’ve bought any home electronic equipment in the past year or so, you’ve no doubt noticed that the printed owner’s manual is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Those printed manuals have either been replaced by CDs containing PDF files or slips of paper highlighting a URL from which you can download the manual electronically.
A similar leap is now being taken by a welding equipment manufacturer, but with a new twist.
Lincoln Electric is now adding 2D Microsoft Tag barcodes to some of its most popular welding products. The barcodes encode text, URLs or other data and are readable by most Web-enabled phones with a camera. The types of information accessible via the codes include: operational help tips and videos, product specification sheets and competitive product comparisons, instruction manuals, related articles and company contact information.
Among the first machines from Lincoln Electric to feature the Microsoft Tag codes include the Power MIG 140, 180 and 216 models, the Square Wave TIG 175 and Outback 145 and Ranger 225 engine-driven welder/generator machines. The codes will link users to a mobile-ready landing page for each machine.
The company is looking to eventually implement its 2D code program across all product lines.
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“The past few years have shown that many consumers are doing online research and now use their mobile devices to aid them in the decision making process, so Lincoln Electric is getting ahead of the curve by adding a new method for providing information right at their fingertips as they interact with our machines,” says Bruce Chantry, Lincoln Electric’s portfolio manager of welding equipment.
To get the Tag Reader mobile app for your phone, visit http://gettag.mobi on your mobile phone browse or search for ‘Tag Reader’ in the Apple iTunes App Store, Android Market or Blackberry App World.