Earlier this week, Seattle-based Dynotag (www.dynotag.com) announced the launch of its service, which uses the now ubiquitous QR codes, and puts a consumer spin on them. We talked with Murat Divringi, CEO of the company, to learn more about what exactly the company hopes its QR code tag products can do for consumers, and why the firm thinks QR codes are ready to gain the attention of consumers for their own use.
What is Dynotag?
Murat Divringi: What we do, is we make digital tagging available for real people and consumers at the retail level. The way things are happening with QR codes, is marketing companies are using it, businesses are using it, but it is not being used to solve real needs for real people. The reason I got into this whole thing, is I am fairly plugged into technology myself. I had an emergency contact card in my wallet, and after I moved, that information on the card changed, and I was frustrated that I couldn't just change that information. It occurred to me that there is a much better way to solve that problem, which is through tagging. If your emergency information card was a tag, you could go ahead and maintain that information yourself if it were part of the cloud.
My business partner and myself both have a lot of background in enterprise products, and it occurred to us that we could build a solution that was simple to use, customer centric, and would fill a lot of needs in the tagging area. What we are doing, is distributing ready-to-use tags as stickers, necklaces, wallet cards, and so forth, making them available online and eventually in retail.So, for example, if you want an emergency information pendant for your kids, in a couple of minutes you can fill in their information online, put that pendant on your kid, and know that in an emergency the first responders will have access to whatever information they should have access to.
The different thing that we're also doing, is we're associating private content with those tags. The content belongs to the user, and instead of the QR code pointing to a Twitter that or social profile, that content can be made private, because it belongs to the owner fo that tag. We're letting people manage their collection of tags, so one might be for emergency IDs, one for your property, one for your car, another for your husband or kids. Those collections are there are a central way for managing digital tags for consumers.
How is this different from the many other QR code creation services out there?
Murat Divringi: As I mentioned, with QR codes, they area always pointing to something else, such as your LinkedIn profile, your Facebook page, or what have you. We're different in that what we are doing is carving up a space for you to upload your own content. It's private, and it belongs to you. Any object associated with that tag is yours, and you can password protect it if you want to, and you don't have to depend on other sites. If you're a small business, you could upload a PDF file for a brochure, and your customers won't have to print a brochure--they can scan the code and download your brochure. That doesn't require you to have a website to do that, or know anything about creating a website. That's a significant difference, and no one else seems to be doing that. The others really have been focusing on essentially marketing solutions. Instead, we want to be small business and consumer oriented, very easy to use, and very approachable, and allow you to get goods through retail. For example, if you want to put stickers on a bunch of things, instead of printing lots of stockers, we let you buy a stack as if they were Post-Its. People can get Dynatags, active those tags, and bind it to your collection. You can use it for all sorts of applications, such as luggage tags, emergency information cards, pendants, pet tags, and so on. We're now making a variety of things available online, and are looking into retail. It's very consumer centric.
What's your background?
Murat Divringi: My background, is I have been around a number of startup in the commercial software and enterprise software areas, and have been around the Internet for a long time. My business partner is a very creative developer and architect, and he was working at the Azure team at Microsoft. He left his job to focus on this with me.
How far along are you with the service, and can users use it yet?
Murat Divringi: This has been in open beta, but the service is online right now, and we have been using it among friends. We are now getting feedback and incorporating that feedback.
We notice one of the parts of your service is that people can pay for additional features--how has the reaction been to that option?
Murat Divringi: To be honest, we are giving a lot of it away for free. If you look at the service, the tagging is free. We want to make it very clear, that we want to use Dynotag to solve a large portion of problems. So, we've made the service free to create a tag and use it, with our premium tag providing more features and more room to upload files. The concept of premium tags, is it gives you more features and more room to upload files. It also gives you PIN protection, to protect the content of your tag. Our goal is to enhance the capability of the tags over time. However, the base tagging gives way beyond what most folks can imagine, and we're giving that away for free. Frankly, we want to be an accessible service, which people can use in college, in school, for free, and make them ubiquitous. We really don't care about the premium tags, we want to expand our user base, as our retail products are actually the focus for monetization.
Speaking of retail products, how soon are those on your timeline?
Murat Divringi: We're starting with Amazon, which is what we're working on today. What we will be shipping first will be be a sticker sheet with ready to use tags and ID kits. We'll offer ID kits with three tags, a wallet card, and luggage tags. Essentially, you'll get a nice, professionally prepared product, delivered to you, and all you have to do is claim the tag and use them. Beyond that, we're looking at retail expansion, which will take a bit more capital, which is why we're in the midst of some funding, working on an angel and a Series A round.