Sunday, July 31, 2011

They are Everywhere

QR Bar Codes Are Showing Up Everywhere

They are showing up all over town. You find them in newspapers and magazines, on bus cards and in museums. You will see them on real estate signs and fast food menus. At first they may look like one of those Maze Games that you played with as a kid. In reality they are an extension of the bar code you may find on the box of cereal or loaf of bread as you run through the check out at the store. Called “QR” or “two dimensional codes,” these black and white printed labels made up of lines and boxes can hold much more information that the old bar codes consisting of only vertical lines of different thickness and placement.

The reason that they are becoming so prevalent is that they can be read by most smart phones and the information can be instantly translated into an Internet address leading to additional information and detail.

For example, using a QR code on a real estate sign provides a way for the potential buyer to see much more detail about a property of interest even when the agent is not there. Scanning the code on the sign can bring the prospective buyer to a video tour of the home, information about the neighborhood and any other detail that might promote further interest. All of this played back on the mobile phone while standing in front of the house.

Your walk through a museum or gallery can be enhanced if the displays and
artwork have corresponding QR codes. Scanning the codes as you walk through can provide added information. Even an audio or video presentation about the display can be presented to you on the phone’s screen. The same technology could be employed in cities and towns providing a running narrative of your walk through historic neighborhoods or buildings.

The CR code above can be scanned by a smart phone with an appropriate scanning app will take you to a page on Wikipedia. You don’t need to enter an address or any special codes. All you need do is scan and let the phone make the connection.

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