The recent proliferation of smartphones and rising popularity of social media have sparked a revolution in the marketing world. QR codes, which can store more data and be more easily scanned than traditional UPC barcodes, are one of the most exciting new innovations to take hold in the industry. Here are ten of the most creative uses of QR coding to have emerged in recent years.
Monmouth, Wales is a QR coded town. To promote tourism, they created over 1000 plaques, stickers, and labels on everything from buildings to businesses to monuments. Each links to a Wikipedia article, 500 of which the town created for the purpose.
This unique QR code only appears when the pint glass is filled with thick stout. It links to social media sites like Foursquare and Facebook so beer swillers can tell friends what pub to find them in.
Planned Parenthood in Washington, USA has put QR codes on thousands of free condoms. Users promote safe sex and contribute to research data by anonymously reporting where they get it on.
Korean QR Grocery Shopping
In a brilliant sales strategy, Tesco Lotus in Korea has lined subway stops with digital grocery shelves. Shoppers simply take a photo of the QR codes beneath the items they want, and the groceries soon arrive in the mail.
The World Park Game
On Arbor Day 2010, Central Park in NYC became a QR encoded board game for smartphone-wielding nature lovers. The codes link to interactive questions and give directions to the next stop.
Greeting Card Playlists
The mixtape has been given a facelift. These stylized QR codes become birthday or Valentines Day cards, which link to Spotify playlists created by the sender.
This innovative idea creates physical shop fronts without inventory. Shoppers choose the items they want from the 2D shelves in a similar fashion to the subway Tesco experience.
QR Codes Give Art a Voice
The Sukiennice Museum in Poland now has QR codes that link to videos where the artist says a few words about the ‘Behind-the-Scenes’ context for his/her work.
Talking Gift Tags
JC Penny has done away with the traditional To:/From: gift tags. Now a QR code enables gift recipients to hear a short personal message from the giver.
QR codes on tombstones? It could soon be a commonplace practice. Instead of limiting headstone info to name, date, and a short quote, QR codes could allow tombstones to provide detailed histories and descriptions of the departed – even video or voice recording.
Technology is transforming the way we interact with information and physical objects in our everyday lives. More and more, it seems our world is evolving and being shaped to mirror the types of data systems that define the Internet. Just as images and text can link us to new info on the web, QR codes now allow us embed links in beer pints, condoms, and even whole towns.