IPVMU Certified | 11/08/13 11:19pm
I see a lot of value with QR codes on DVRs, ptzs, encoders etc... Access to quick install guides on complex items should reduce onsite service tech time. Putting these on equipment such and fire alarm panels and linking to inspection logs and forms has potential As well.
As far as I've ever seen them used, QR codes do little other than link to online/web-based content... basically it's just a marginally more convenient way of saying, "No manuals in box, go to www.ourname.com/manuals". And I say "marginally" because I have yet to come across a mobile device that will read them natively; all devices I've seen so far require a separate app to be installed, which then just calls the browser once it scans the QR.
I know there's more potential there, but is anyone using it for anything other than URLs?
A lot of people put the codes out there though. I seem them at bus stops, on the back of trucks. Everywhere. And yet no one has native readers. I too see some benifits to them in the sense of easy access to manuals, or like Joel mentioned the possibility of linking maintence logs and such.
I'm afraid the temptation for abuse far exceeds the value a busy professional will likely see.
When I need an install guide or an owners manual, I Google and almost always quickly find a searchable PDF edition.
When a vendor owns your eyes, there is a great temptation to show what THEY want you to see, which many have no bearing on what YOU want to see.
Back to the question at hand, if there was a standard that took you to a support page or manuals or some reliable helpful place, that might be great and save time. With no standard, I think you will find that implementation is too spotty to be an improvement over Googling.
BTW (regarding "a real time water" which should have been "waster...") do you notice the web interface drops more characters than local typing?
IPVMU Certified | 11/10/13 07:01pm
And if you are using a QR code, you better have a mobile version of your website. I don't want to be taken to a desktop version of a site if I must scan your QR code. That is the biggest disconnect with QR codes in addition to needing a separate app.
If you can have one QR code, you can certainly have two. One QR code labeled "Installation Video", the other labeled "Operators Manual" - with appropriate URL linking to each of the two.
Seems like a good thing to an old support dude like me who's always hated tech support callers who begin their calls with "How do I...?" :)
Then we can call them RTFM (or WTFV) codes.
John, this might be another niche for IPVM. Inasmuch as you and your staff are constantly testing new hardware and software; would it be possible to simply index the manuals from this for the hardware and software you test and make them available via your website? You could add value to this by including your own comments on each item. You clearly might need copyright releases, but assuming you had the permissions I could see this as an attractive service.
I would think links to any test reports you had done on the particular product would be helpful. Toll free numbers for the tech desk. Any notes on known issues not covered in the manuals. If you found any of the manuals hard to follow and had to figure out what they meant to say that would be useful. I suspect you have most of this already available to you. You have probably found cases where the manuals could stand some clarification or directions seemed out of order. Remember "Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance"?