SCANDOT

June 8th, 2009

SCANDOT is a QRcode plugin for Firefox 3 and higher. It embeds a dynamic QRcode in every page you visit or print, allowing you to easily scan and revisit the page again on printouts or your mobile phone, without any writing, typing, saving or emailing.

Install SCANDOT

INSTALLATION

Click the logo above to download and install SCANDOT from the Mozilla.org site.

Alternately, click here to download and install SCANDOT manually. Download the file then drag and drop it onto a running Firefox window. It will ask you to confirm the installation and prompt you to restart firefox.

USE

How to customise your toolbar

How to customise your toolbar

Right-click the toolbar (or control-click it on OS X) and pick ‘customise toolbar’.


Near the bottom of the list of buttons is the SCANDOT button. Click and drag it to your main toolbar to quickly toggle QR Codes on and off.

How to add the SCANDOT button to your toolbar

How to add the SCANDOT button to your toolbar

The Toolbar Button

Click the button once and QR Codes are enabled. Click it again and they’re disabled.

Configuration Options

The configuration panel is under the Tools menu

The configuration panel is under the Tools menu

To configure SCANDOT, either context (right / control) – click the icon in the Add-ons menu item under the Tools menu and select “options”, or click the “options button”. Quicker access is available from the Tools menu, under SCANDOT.

In the configuration dialogue window, you can set which corner of the page the QR Code is displayed in, and the size of the code. Longer URLs work better and are recognisable by more devices when they are given more space, but generally we’ve found around 200 pixels gives good results for most pages.

Printing a QR Code as part of a document

Make sure the toolbar button is turned on, and just print as you would normally. The QR Code will be embedded on the printed page the same way as it is on your browser window.

REMOVAL

To remove the toolbar button, just open the context menu (right-click or control-click on OS X) over the main toolbar in Firefox, and drag the button from the toolbar back into the “customise toolbar” window.

Uninstallation

If you want to completely remove SCANDOT, go to Firefox’s Tools menu, and pick Add-ons. Make sure you’re on the “Extensions” tab, then click SCANDOT in the list. Finally, click “uninstall” to remove it – this will happen the next time you start Firefox after you close all open Firefox windows (and exit, on OS X).

What’s a QR Code?

SCANDOT home page as a QRCode

SCANDOT home page as a QRCode

A QR Code is a two-dimensional barcode (or matrix code) which can embed a large volume of data into a small space. It can encode different kinds of data; SCANDOT encodes URLs, including HTTP, HTTPS, and FTP – basically, if you can type the address in and Firefox will show a page for it, SCANDOT will encode it.

QR Codes are in use more and more; you’ve probably seen one on a soft drinks can, or similar things printed on bills or stamps. Usually they help product tracking and automation, but QR Codes have become much more prominent for general consumption by those outside the logistics industry.

How do I read a QR Code?

SCANDOT does not read QR Codes. You will need another piece of software to do this; luckily, there are plenty out there, and they’re nearly all free. Google sponsor the zxing library under an open source license, which provides the backbone for many of the more recent ones.

Why would I use this?

You want to send a web page from your computer to your phone. Emailing it is a lot of work, and time-consuming, and possibly expensive. Instead you turn on SCANDOT, start the barcode scanner on your phone, point it at the screen, and instantly recieve the page, with no clicking required.

You print a map out. Months later, you realise the URL has been cropped, and would have been too long to type in anyway. Luckily, you had SCANDOT, which embedded the address as a glyph on the page. You use your computer and a webcam to recognise the code and restore the page.

About TANDOT

TANDOT is a strategic design company providing planning, design and production services for social and interactive media. We love mobile, geolocative and innovative new technologies and have a track record in creating and delivering ground-breaking solutions.

About QR Codes

Invented in 1994, the QR Code was designed to provide a machine-readable and robust mechanism to embed data about the manufacturing process into the car production process. Since the format has been released, a number of standardised data formats employing QR Codes have emerged, encoding such data as URLs, email addresses, and business cards.

QR Codes are the patented property of Denso-Wave. Denso-Wave has released the standard under a royalty-free license and promised not to assert patent rights.

License

The current beta version is ┬ęTANDOT Ltd. and may not be redistributed without permission. Once we’re out of beta (early August 2009), it will be released under an open license.
We cannot be held responsible for any loss of data, livelihood, time, or functionality you may consider to be caused by SCANDOT. As much as possible, the software is safe and does not interfere with the normal operation of either your computer or Firefox iteself.

Version History

0.9.0 First beta release

Contact Dave regarding this article.