Saturday, April 30, 2011

In the wild - IX

Ran into a few examples of QR codes being used on advertisements in airports. This seems like a pretty good place to use QR codes... More than likely quite a few folks have some time on their hands and so using QR codes might be a good opportunity to capture "eyeballs", entertain them and also provide information!

The first example, see below, is from Reagan National Airport (DCA).

So, by the baggage carousels was a series of large advertisements featuring a series of "Wonks" - Global, Political, Social, etc., each of which featured a QR code in the bottom right. OK, fairly intriguing, and conducive to using the included QR codes to find out what the "Wonkery" was all about!

The first problem involved scanning the QR code - it required climbing onto the baggage conveyor belt to get within 'snapshot distance' of the QR codes.... A first attempt failed though a second was successful. It turned out to be advertisements by American University in Washington, D.C., though the experience could have been improved by having the QR code resolve to a more mobile-friendly site...

The second example is from Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia (ATL). Big Green Egg, a company selling "the Original American Designed Ceramic Cooker", had and advertisement with a QR code. It resolved to a MP4 video file that unfortunately could not be displayed on a Blackberry 9800 Torch. OK, so a clear fail, it clearly would have been better to use a format that would run on a wider range of smartphones...

Back to a print example. The 2011-2012 Criteria for Performance Excellence booklets put out by the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program now have a QR code on the back. This takes you to their publication page, which doesn't look bad but is not a particularly mobile-friendly page...

And finally, some miscellaneous QR-related articles and news: has developed and put on the web its "QR Code Quality Standards Test v1.02", that can be used to test QR scanners: "... Displayed below are several QR test codes. These test codes will help you verify that your QR code scanner is able to properly interpret the data after it has been scanned in order to provide the end user with the desired experience or information using your QR reader. Not all tests are passable on every QR code scanning platform, so a perfect score should not be expected. Each platform has certain limitations and each test code attempts to deliberately showcase flaws so you can deal with them directly. This test should be helpful for application developers with their own quality assurance testing as they develop their QR reader application and release new updates. It will also assist critics (those writing app reviews or testing apps for approval in various online stores) by giving them a reliable evaluation tool for testing QR reader quality and reliability..." The company intends to put together a list of recommended QR readers.

A company is now selling Hortycodes to garden centers and nurseries... These are QR codes that have further information on the plants being sold, including "... the common name of the plant, the latin name and pronunciation, zone information, size dimensions, bloom time, sun and soil preferences and direct links to Wikipedia articles and Flickr images of the plant..."

Who’s Really Scanning All Those QR Codes? [Infographic]
Tribeca Film Festival engages attendees via QR code initiative

Blog entries referencing QR codes:
QR codes in the wild (9 links)
BB QR readers (20 links)
QR- and Tag-related entries (19 links)

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