We’ve talked about mobile barcodes in grocery stores, real estate, restaurants, universities and retail environments. We’ve discussed the basics and even come creative, cool looking QR codes and Microsoft Tags. Now it’s time for a little fun again. Here’s some examples of some interesting (some more than others) uses of QR codes.
Name a country so enamored by QR codes that they put them? The Netherlands. The Royal Dutch Mint has produced a limited edition of QR coded coins to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Mint. The silver 5€ and the gold 10€ were issued on June 22, 2011. It takes you to a web page (not exactly mobile friendly) that has a nice video (that isn’t mobile optimized) and after the video is over, there’s a button to a memory coin game. I’m not sure it lives up to the hype the Mint promised and the web site falls short of mobile-friendly.
Make your resume interactive and make your competition look inferior. Who cares about the font, unless you make the mistake of using Comic Sans then there’s no saving you. Overall, I love the idea, but the video could have been better by including sound. Victor Petit wanted to create a CV that would enable him to express his self vocally as soon as they read the paper, then why not express “vocally” through the paper. Great concept and idea and it worked, but take the next step.
Working with a surf lifesaving club, communication “architects” Sinap Co. Ltd wanted to know if a QR code created out of sand could be read by a mobile phone. So, they made a human-scale QR code on Shonan beach. The results showed that most phones could read it, and it’s cool.
As if sand castle QR codes weren’t enough for the Japanese, they took it one step further by creating the world’s largest QR code. Over 50 people got together to make this giant QR Code that when scanned downloads a 15 second animation celebrating over 100 years of Audi. Although they really aren’t doing anything with this to build their list, do they need to? They’re Audi.
Still, the Japanese don’t stop there with their creative use of QR codes. A company called Ishinokoe is using QR codes to enhance gravestones with cell phone accessible hyperlinks to a web site where visitors can view images, text and videos from the deceased person’s life. Guests can view a greeting from the deceased person’s “chief mourner” as well as other messages left in the grave’s guestbook.
Not to be outdone, Quiring Monuments Inc. in Seattle has turned a trip to the cemetery into an interactive experience with Living Headstones. These grave markers offer opportunities for visitors to access information and leave messages. This gives people the ability to tell their story the way they want it to be told. The monument company offers this to existing grave markers for around $65. This includes the QR code, web site and hosting. It’s free to new monuments.
Imagine if we took it to the next step and linked it to a cancer research fund if they passed away due to cancer.
It’s more than just a dog tag. It’s more than just a bottle opener. It’s a promotion too!
You just never know what Dubai Studio City is going to come up with next. This is a concept for a QR code hotel from Söhne & Parters. The concept could allow for all kinds of macro and micro exploration with your mobile device. Dubai Studio City is trying to be the next Mecca in creating sci-fi movies. This hotel is set to be a space harbor for business people, actors and people who want a taste of the atmosphere of the illusion of sci-fi movies.
Karl Marc, a Paris-based tattoo artist, incorporated a QR code into his client’s tattoo. When it’s scanned, the tat reveals an animated version of a rose within the tattoo. The innovative, and “interesting,” client can swap new animations out whenever he wants and already has a second animation lined up. The session was streamed live on Facebook as part of a promotion with Ballantine’s, allowing viewers to comment live and talk with Karl as he worked.
Now, if you don’t want to go that far, and are looking for a not-so-permanent fix, try temporary barcodes. You can personalize the 2D barcode with plain text, website URL, email address, phone number, or SMS text message. The square barcodes are made using QR Code style encryption, so the tattoos can be read with a camera phone. The temporary tattoos are made with medically approved decal paper. Each tattoo lasts about a day. To remove you just peel them off.
Here’s another test done using CityVille. The person was trying to test how it translated on code scanners. Unfortunately, the angle of the layout seemed to be a problem on most scanners.
In a real-world example, a group of fun-loving German’s decided to create a QR code measuring 160×160 meters into a wheat field that, when scanned, decoded the phrase “Hello, world!” This was done for the virtual globe of the software Google Earth.
Jessica Stuart wore a dress at the Webby awards that, when scanned, played videos that she created for the Pediatric AIDS Foundation to raise awareness. It’s a good cause and she got over 100 scans while at the event, but…I’ll go into some of my concerns about QR clothing next.
W-41 makes a line of “scannable” clothing. Their idea is that their products will smooth customers’ social transactions. However, it kinda gives me the creeps. Who’s taking my picture and what are they really taking a picture of? What’s going on behind my back? What are they going to do after they scan or take pictures? All questions that leave me a little uneasy.
Now for a couple of failures. JetBlue created a great ad concept and used pictures of people vacationing as the blocks for the QR code but they placed it in a subway where there’s no data connection for mobile phones. This, to me, seems like a major oversight. It leaves the scanners frustrated and feeling a little foolish.
Here’s another example of poor decision-making in regards to placement. The poster is located on the second floor of a shopping mall and faces the opening instead of the walkway. How many people are going to risk their mobile device to hold it over the rail to try to scan their code? You must take the user experience into account when creating the campaign.
Have a cow…
I’m going to end here for today, but I wanted to share a few interesting mobile barcode examples with you. Hopefully you’ll gain some creative ideas of what to do and what not to do.