Tag Tag City

No, this is not a post about playing a game of tag with your friends. Although that might be an idea for another day… This is a post about a new smartphone service called TagTagCity that was recently launched in Brussels. Aimed at both tourists and locals, TagTagCity helps people explore Brussels and find promotions around town at the same time.

The concept relies on “tags” placed at some 600 sites in Brussels, ranging from museums and monuments to shops and restaurants, which can be scanned to find out more information about the location. The tags are QR codes that are readable with a smartphone and provide details about the site, pictures and map (similar to what you would find in a guide book), plus audio and video features for many. There are also walks outlined for different neighborhoods and themes.

To use the service, make sure you have a QR reader app installed on your smartphone and then go to the website www.tagtagcity.com for the menu of locations, walks, promotions and account information.  You can then start scanning various locations, look up places to visit and keep track of your activity. Alternatively, you can enter the short URL on each tag to access the same information.

If you don’t have a smart phone, you can buy a device called a Clickey from TagTagCity that will allow you to read the tags and upload the data for places you’ve visited to a computer. This isn’t quite as helpful as the information isn’t in real time, but is an attempt to make the service available to all.

In addition to the guide aspect of the service, TagTagCity has also teamed up with local businesses and tourist spots to offer promotions and discounts. Scanning locations will earn you “coins” that can be saved up and used for promotions like discounts at hair salons and clothing stores. You can check out the latest deals via the website, such as a free coffee when you buy a piece of quiche at Tea Me Eat Me and a discount on a bottle of wine at Oeno tk.

TagTagCity also encourages users to share their tags and travel diary with friends via social networks. There seem to be quite a few sites and businesses signed up already, with hopefully more on the way. The website is available in French, Dutch and English, but when exploring I noticed that some of the functionality didn’t always work in English and I couldn’t find where to order the Clickey device.

I’m curious to see how this works in real life so will have to get busy tagging this weekend!

P.S. If you’re interested in other digital tools to help you discover Brussels, check out my previous post here. The Bulletin magazine has also just come out with an iPad app, which allows you to read the current and past issues for free.

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