WHAT IS Wai? Yah!?
The WaI? Yah! system (Where am I? You are here!) is a multi-language information and positioning (GPS) for pedestrians, using two-dimensional barcodes. These codes are placed at the entrance of shops, hotels, restaurants, museums and other touristic attractions. Each code contains information on the place where the code is located: name, description, phone, web, schedule, ... To read the codes it is only needed a camera phone and the (free) reader program. The reading program is configured with a list of languages, in order of preference. When the program reads one of these codes (which contains information in several languages), it shows information to the user in the desired language. Each code allows the user to connect to the WaI? Yah! server for additional information or in other languages. The codes also contain the latitude, longitude (and optionally altitude), so that a camera phone can become a GPS at zero cost, simply by reading the coordinates in the code. The codes can be used indoors, where a GPS signal does not arrive or it is distorted, and it obtains higher resolution than other techniques such as GSM or WiFi cell triangulation.
The WaI? Yah! system adapts to the needs of the customers who choose to use it. WaI? Yah! provides a new channel (mobile phones) to promote tourism products and services (among many other fields of application). The combination of two-dimensional codes with Internet connections from mobile, can overcome the capacity limitations of the codes and to monitor the use and impact of the system and identify new user needs. Adaptation of non-mobile webs to mobile format is also a service available. The system is designed to work in any language, allowing its use worldwide.
The mobile market
Unlike computers, mobile phones are devices with a much higher penetration rate and virtually 100% of the time we carry them with us. This device is ideal for getting to the final users, but we have to overcome some limitations such as the small size of the keyboard. 2D barcodes is a quick, convenient and cheap way of introducing information in mobile devices. Soon mobile devices willl be the primary way of Internet access. In other countries (such as Japan) 2D codes are part of the daily activities of mobile users, but in Spain are basically being used in print advertising campaigns. However, during the summer of 2008 some initiatives have appear that also use these codes to provide information to tourists (AndaluciaQR, Roses Citadel, Modernist Reus).
WaI? Yah! is a new innovative way to reach the target population, making dissemination of tourist information and serving as advertising platform. It represents the next step in the implementation of 2D codes to link the physical world to the Internet. Since the beginning, the system incorporates multi-language features and can be adapted to the preferences of end users. Our technology is patented in Spain and in USA States (and pending in Europe).
Honors and awards
The multilingual information system won the third edition of Premi Fem Empresa (Making Company Award) from Foundation Caixa Tarragona and Company Tarraco Jove 2009 (2nd place).