CityIN's press release arrived in my box this morning, and it looks pretty interesting. It's a Hong Kong-developed social networking service that can work on your mobile, and it uses QR codes, which always seem so smart to me but which have not taken off much of anywhere outside of Japan. The Wikipedia entry says: QR Codes storing addresses and URLs may appear in magazines, on signs, buses, business cards or just about any object that a user might need information about. A user having a camera phone equipped with the correct reader software can scan the image of the QR Code causing the phone's browser to launch and redirect to the programmed URL.
It would be a very interesting development to have them start to actually be used in China--a form of meaning that could be left in public places but not immediately visible to the ordinary passerby. CityIn's press release cites a different use for QR codes, however, as kind of an easy way to get information from one screen (say in an Internet cafe) to your phone screen.
CityIN generates a QR code image for each user-created social events, visitors just need to scan the QR image with their mobile phone camera, and at maximum 4296 English characters (which is more than 1000 Chinese characters) will be read and input into their phone.
Why is this QR code feature important? Think about where many Chinese youngsters go online - Internet café. Do they have pen/paper/mobile-PC usb? So what if they need to note down the address of the party they are going tonight?
It also supports QQ contact importing.