is an application that lets you use your iPhone or Android phone to detect imperceptible digital watermarks that are embedded within the photos of CQ every month. When you see the HB Connect smartphone icon in the pages of the magazine, you can scan the image to unlock behind-the-scenes videos and more special content.
HOW DO I USE IT TO DETECT IMPERCEPTIBLE DIGITAL WATERMARKS?
Launch the CQ Connect app on your phone. To detect digital watermarks in printed material, the app must be in "Look" mode. To navigate to the Look mode, press the eyeball icon on the "Look" tab of the bottom navigation bar. In Look mode, the camera's video preview will be active and you will see crosshairs in the center of the screen.
In a well-lit area, hold your phone steady and parallel to the printed page, starting about 6 inches (15 cm) away, pointing the crosshairs at the center of the watermarked image. If the app doesn't detect the watermark right away, slowly move the phone toward the printed piece until you hear the sound or feel the vibration indicating that the watermark was read. The reading distance is usually between 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm), depending on the phone you are using. The CQ Connect app will launch an interactive experience and connect you to the video or Web site associated with the image.
I CANNOT DETECT DIGITAL WATERMARKS IN THE IMAGE IN LOOK MODE. WHAT'S WRONG?
It is important to hold the phone at the correct distance from the printed page. This distance varies from phone to phone. If you start 8 inches (20 cm) away and slowly move closer, you should read the watermark between 4 and 8 inches (10 and 20 cm).
Allow time for the camera to focus on the printed piece and for the auto-exposure to adjust to the lighting.
Good lighting is also important. A general rule is if your eyes can read the printed page without straining, the phone should be able to detect the digital watermarks. A well-lit page with no shadows reads best. The iPhone4 allows use of the flash LED to improve lighting if necessary. But try to position the page away from a direct light source to reduce any glare.
The phone should be held parallel to the magazine page. The app works best when the phone is not tilted at an angle.
Point the crosshairs at the center of the watermarked image and not around the edges or corners. The digital watermarks are usually placed throughout the image or article you are reading, but not in the margins, borders, or other white space areas.
It should only take a few attempts before you learn how to position your phone for the best results.
WHY WOULD A LINK BE INACTIVE OR EXPIRED?
CQ must choose the duration of a mobile link associated with a digital watermark when we set it up prior to printing. The length of time a link is active is often based on how long we anticipate that readers will use the magazine.
HOW DO I USE HOUSE BEAUTIFUL CONNECT TO READ QR CODES OR BARCODES?
First, find a QR code in the magazine (in an advertisement) or a barcode on a product package. QR codes are 2D (square) barcodes that can be used to link you to a Web site. CQ Connect will read UPC, EAN, and ISBN barcode formats.
Launch the CQ Connect app on your phone. To detect QR codes or barcodes, the app must be in "Look" mode. To navigate to the Look mode, press the "Look" tab (with the eyeball) on the bottom of the screen. In Look mode, the camera's video preview will be active.
In a well-lit area, aim the camera at the QR code, pointing the crosshairs at the center of the QR code or barcode. Hold the camera steady and allow it to focus. You may need to move the camera closer to the QR code or barcode to fill the frame of the CQ Connect camera display.
CQ Connect will launch the browser on your phone to connect you to the Web site associated with the QR code or the Google Product search page associated with the product barcode.
WHEN I READ A QR CODE, SOMETIMES I SEE "UNSUPPORTED QR CODE." WHY?
CQ Connect supports QR codes that contain a URL for linking to a Web site, the most popular QR code format used in mobile marketing campaigns. There are other formats encoded into QR codes: VCards, phone numbers, etc. CQ Connect may support these in later versions, but not at this time.
DO I NEED TO BE CONNECTED TO A NETWORK TO USE THE HOUSE BEAUTIFUL CONNECT APP?
Yes, the CQ Connect app requires a network connection to link to online content and services and to share links with friends. Either your carrier's wireless network or a Wi-Fi connection will work well.
DOES HOUSE BEAUTIFUL CONNECT WORK ON ALL IPHONE MODELS?
The CQ Connect app works on the iPhone 3GS, the iPhone 4, the iPhone 4S, the iPod Touch (4th generation), and the iPad 2 and iPad 3.
DOES HOUSE BEAUTIFUL CONNECT WORK ON ALL ANDROID PHONES?
The CQ Connect app works on Android phone models running Android OS 2.1, 2.2, or 2.3 that have an auto-focus camera, excluding devices with small screen sizes.
The app has been tested on the Motorola Atrix and Droid X; the Samsung Captivate (Galaxy S series); and the Google Nexus One and Nexus S.
New Android devices are released at a rapid rate and the app is being tested on a subset of these devices, focusing on the later Android OS releases. Camera quality, driver implementation, and good lighting make the largest difference in the performance of the CQ Connect app.