Over the last few years you may have noticed barcodes like this one appearing on flyers, posters, leaflets, books, newspapers, some of the things you buy at your local shop and even on business cards.
They are QR codes (which stands for Quick Response) and they originated in Japan in the mid 90s, but they have become popular over recent years thanks to the prevalence of mobile phones, and in particular, Smartphones (for example Blackberry, iPhone, HTC etc).
If you own a Smartphone you can use an app (some phones have an app built-in, Blackberry’s Reader for example) to scan the barcode which will quickly and efficiently link you to relevant information on a website through the web-browser on your phone. If you don’t own a smartphone it’s still possible to scan a QR code via your computer’s webcam using dedicated software.
Anyone can generate a QR code and with some help from Antonio, our Spanish intern, MADE have started to use the codes on promotional material, including information about our Talking Cities lecture series.
QR codes have been used by other people in interesting and innovative ways - take Tales of Things for example, who use QR codes to link objects to memories. http://www.talesofthings.com/
At the Hello Digital conference in Birmingham in 2010, QR Codes were used on name badges and shown alongside the delegates’ name and company. Prior to the event delegates created a profile page with key contact information, and rather than exchanging business cards, the code could be scanned and contact information is sent straight to the smartphone of the person doing the scanning. Clever stuff.
Over the last 18 months, MADE have been implementing a digital marketing strategy which includes using tools like Twitter, LinkedIn, Live Blogging and Facebook to reach new audiences and share information openly. The use of QR codes is exactly the kind of technology that fits in nicely with our wider digital strategy.
As businesses adapt to the changes taking place in the world of technology, what does this mean for those of us working in the Built Environment?