Kooaba’s new Shortcut app wants to kill QR codes in print advertising

Kooaba’s new Shortcut app wants to kill QR codes in print advertising

Swiss image recognition startup Kooaba has expanded and relaunched its flagship app. Whereas previously, Paperboy was a handy way to access online content from thousands of physical newspaper titles, it’s now expanded to support wider print advertising and been renamed Shortcut.

The new-look app not only sports a sexier interface (which takes a UI cue from Path, as you can see in the video below), it offers more possibilities for users.

As we’ve previously noted, Paperboy allowed users to take a photo of a newspaper page and be taken to the online version for sharing, reading later or for accessing additional content from the same title. Now, a partnership with outdoor agency APG and print media agency Publicitas in Switzerland means that users will be able to snap a picture of an ad and be taken online for more information – no QR codes required.

So, why not stick with QR codes to bridge the gap between offline and online? Kooaba’s Tom Desmet says in a blog post today “Despite the enormous media attention QR is getting, it still is not at a level where people are really using it. It does not seem to fit into peoples daily routine. Besides that, we have also seen a lot of misplaced QR codes, and many mistakes like codes in magazines that are too small to scan… for print and outdoor advertising, it is simply not needed.”

Kooaba’s vision is that all print ads will become interactive, allowing consumers to receive deals, coupons, store locators, video, sweepstakes and more, straight to their phones.

While the print ad deal is currently just for Switzerland, you can use Shortcut just about anywhere in the world to access online content from physical newspapers. Shortcut is available for iOS, Android and Windows Phone.


Read next: Stephen Fry: There's a generation of judges that just don't 'get' Twitter