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20 Interesting Things: QR Codes


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This is the fifth deck in our summer series 20 Interesting Things. It takes a quick look at what is happening in the Crowdsourcing space from both a marketing and general use perspective. Look for our other decks on Foursquare, Augmented Reality, Crowdsourcing and Goodness.

Published in: Technology, Business
  • I made a board game using QR codes if anybody is interested... Go to
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  • We've done some cool stuff with QR codes allowing them to link to specific apps on specific devices. Check it out:!

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  • Check out some of these awesome QrCodes from
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  • If you want to create vector QR codes beside bitmap QR codes you can do this using free online tool at: You can choose between various data types, we support also geolocation.
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20 Interesting Things: QR Codes

  1. 2. BEFORE WE BEGIN <ul><li>This is the fifth in a series of white papers we plan to publish this year capturing and exploring interesting happenings in the digital and social worlds. Our other papers have included 20 Interesting Things: Foursquare ; 20 Interesting Things: Augmented Reality ; 20 Interesting Things: Crowdsourcing and 20 Interesting Things: Goodness . </li></ul><ul><li>Quick Read (QR) Codes is one of the trends we covered last fall in our 10 Trends To Watch In 2010 piece. We will revisit a few of these examples and add many new ones. </li></ul><ul><li>QR codes have been widely used in consumer marketing applications in Europe and Asia for the last four to five years, but are just now starting to make serious inroads in North America. To read one of these codes, consumers use their smart phone camera in conjunction with a bar code reader program to unlock data stored in the code. It might lead to a special Web site or provide extra information about the product, a coupon, ringtone, wallpaper, song or any other bonus feature. </li></ul><ul><li>These codes can appear in any number of places, including magazines, signs, movie posters, outdoor boards, taxis/buses or anywhere a user is liable to see and scan one. </li></ul>
  2. 3. #1 Columbia Sportswear <ul><li>When ordering online, users can elect to get their goods delivered in a “box for life” used box. Each one contains a unique QR Code that is tracked everywhere it goes, and once the user receives the box, they scan the QR code, and then share their story on the site . The box is then plotted on Google Maps where users can see every destination it has been and read stories from the people who received it. Learn more here . </li></ul>Source:
  3. 4. #2 Manor, Texas <ul><li>Officials in the former farming town of about 6,000 say they have taken an innovative and inexpensive approach to economic development that has drawn worldwide attention. Using technology that originated in Japan, Manor officials have posted Quick Response Codes (black-and-white digitized images as large as 4 feet by 4 feet) at two dozen landmarks throughout town, including City Hall, the post office and Manor New Technology High School. Learn more here . </li></ul>Sources: The Austin American Statesman and
  4. 5. #3 Foursquare Check-in <ul><li>Users or venue owners can generate a printable 2D bar code (using the venue address or Foursquare ID) and stick it on the venue in question. Visitors can then use the Android application to snap a photo and scan the code. The scan automatically pulls up the venue in question in the Android Foursquare app for a faster check-in. Learn more here . </li></ul>Source:
  5. 6. #4 Sports Illustrated <ul><li>Now you can get plenty of Sports Illustrated content sent directly to your cell: All you need is a physical issue of the magazine and a camera phone. </li></ul><ul><li>Once you pick up your issue, simply search through the pages for the QR barcodes featuring a black and white image of what they’re calling a “mobile beauty.” Snap a photo of the code and send it via MMS in order to get behind-the-scenes videos of the models sent directly to your phone. Learn more here . </li></ul>Source:
  6. 7. #5 Google Window Decals <ul><li>Google has identified more than 100,000 local businesses in the U.S. that are searched upon most often by users. They include restaurants, stores and other establishments in more than 9,000 towns and cities across the nation, and each one of them soon will receive a window decal from Google featuring a scannable QR code. Patrons can scan that code with their mobile device and be taken directly to that business’s Place Page on their mobile phone. There, they can find reviews and coupons or “star” the business as one they want to remember for later. Learn more here . </li></ul>Source:
  7. 8. #6 JCPenney <ul><li>Retailer JCPenney is letting shoppers ring up savings at the register using their mobile phones with a 2D bar code coupon program. Learn more here . </li></ul>Source:
  8. 9. #7 New York City Times Square <ul><li>To celebrate Internet Week 2010, the City of New York outfitted Times Square with giant QR codes. It’s called “The City at Your Fingerprints” and 11 New York agencies participated in the interactive billboard initiative. </li></ul><ul><li>Times Square denizens could use their smart phone bar code scanning app to scan the QR codes — which were featured in an animated sequence on the Thomson Reuters building in Times Square and pull up information relating to specific agencies being featured. Learn more here . </li></ul>Source:
  9. 10. #8 HarperCollins Publishers <ul><li>As publishers continue to hunt for ways to use new technology to draw the attention of teens to books, HarperCollins has been extremely pleased with the response it has received to the use of QR codes, which it first used for recent releases L.A. Candy and The Amanda Project . In the case of L.A. Candy , the code allowed users to watch a video, read a portion of the book, share it with a friend or buy the book. Learn more here . </li></ul>Source:
  10. 11. #9 Pepsi Max United Kingdom <ul><li>Pepsi U.K. has kicked off a Pepsi Max mobile phone campaign using QR codes on their bottles and cans.  Consumers can download various content for their mobile phones just by scanning the bar code with their mobile device. The QR code will automatically redirect the mobile to a WAP site containing the content. More than 400 million Pepsi, Diet Pepsi and Pepsi Max cans and bottles will have the QR code placed on them. Games, videos and weird and wacky websites are just a few options available to Pepsi consumers. Learn more here . </li></ul>Source:
  11. 12. #10 Disney Japan <ul><li>The Walt Disney company has released  posters near the Ikebukuro Station (Japan) which show Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Stitch partially covered by QR codes. The eyes and nose of each character can be seen in the center of the QR code. The codes redirect users to Disney Channel’s mobile site. See a short video here . </li></ul>Sources: and (picture)
  12. 13. #11 Entertainment Weekly <ul><li>Entertainment Weekly is using Microsoft 2D tags (similar to QR codes) to bring its summer movie preview issue to life. Readers will be able to use the Tag application to view trailers for 16 featured films. Codes will be scattered throughout the magazine’s print edition, directing users’ mobile browser to YouTube previews for movies like Sex and the City 2 and Iron Man 2 . Learn more here . </li></ul>Source:
  13. 14. #12 Green Day <ul><li>Green Day launched their new album, 21st Century Breakdown, with something drastically different than any of their previous albums — a QR code. In addition to the cover of their CD, Green Day strategically placed QR codes on magazine ads, posters, stickers and buses. By scanning the code, fans are directed to an exclusive mobile site where they can listen to music, watch videos, connect with other fans, and even download to their phone the hit song, “Know Your Enemy.” Learn more here . </li></ul>Source:
  14. 15. #13 Louis Vuitton <ul><li>Mixing design with technological innovation, Japanese designer Takashi Murakami teamed with Louis Vuitton to create a distinctive code featuring one of the artist’s characters and the classic LV pattern. Created in 2009, this was one of the first QR code efforts to incorporate design and branding beyond the basic black and white standard look. Learn more here . </li></ul>Source:
  15. 16. #14 Code Unique Hotel Dubai <ul><li>Project Code Unique , which aims to create a futuristic building with a QR code theme, has began to make tracks. Söhne & Partner’s QR Code Building, which will be built in Dubai’s Studio City, has released various images to show what the finished result might look like. Visit the fact sheet to see some of these visuals. </li></ul>Source:
  16. 17. #15 McDonald’s <ul><li>In Japan, McDonald’s places QR codes on the wrappers for 19 sandwiches, eight sides, five salads, drink cups and other packaging. Scanning the code brings up a URL, which takes customers to detailed nutritional information. Learn more here . </li></ul>Sources: and i (picture)
  17. 18. #16 P8tch <ul><li>A Pennsylvania startup is putting QR codes on patches that can be affixed practically anywhere. The code on each p8tch , as they’re called, is actually a URL that can be scanned with a smart phone. Initially it directs scanners to the domain “,” but patch owners can set the redirect target of the URL to whatever page they wish. Bloggers, for instance, can redirect the code to their blog; videographers can send it to their latest YouTube video. Users can change the target URL as often as they like. Learn more here . </li></ul>Source:
  18. 19. #17 Quevedo Wine Portugal <ul><li>We will add a QR Code to the back label of our bottles available in the U.S. and in Portugal for Port Wine labeled with Quinta Vale D’Agodinho. Our QR codes will direct you to where you can find other people’s opinion about Quevedo wine, check wine prices on other shops, view the winemaker’s note and much more. Learn more here . </li></ul>Source:
  19. 20. #18 Hello World! Germany <ul><li>This giant QR code was spotted in a German agricultural field, intended by the Hello, World! project to be captured by Google Earth satellites. Learn more here . </li></ul>Source:
  20. 21. #19 Tales of the City London <ul><li>Tales of the City invites local people to add their own voices to London’s architecture. Via the project , we have been capturing people’s memories of objects and playing them back via small readable and writeable QR codes. </li></ul><ul><li>The project will enable participants to add their own tales to buildings and view stories that other people have left. The project has been tagging architecture since its launch in April 2010. Learn more here . </li></ul>Sources: and
  21. 22. #20 Powerhouse Museum Australia <ul><li>As part of the Gene Sherman Contemporary Japanese fashion display each object label is now augmented with both a QR code and a long form object URL. Once unlocked the code takes the user to the museum’s website with more detailed information about the object. Learn more here . </li></ul>Source:
  22. 23. WRAP-UP <ul><li>The possibilities for QR code placement (and content) seems limitless. As more and more consumers adapt smart phones (especially with the recent iPhone 4 and Droid X releases), U.S. residents should start to see more of these icons popping up in their daily lives. </li></ul><ul><li>Why should marketers care? It offers the consumer a richer brand experience and helps brands connect even more with potential brand believers (after all, they’ve taken the time to scan your code, so there must be something about you they like). </li></ul><ul><li>In the coming months, savvy marketers will start to unlock the potential and power of QR codes as they add them to their ever-growing toolbox. </li></ul>
  23. 24. CONTACT AND MORE INFORMATION <ul><li>If you are interested in learning more about Luckie & Company and how we think, please visit our website, and check out our 10 Trends to Watch in 2010 . </li></ul><ul><li>We publish five monthly newsletters. Four “Trend Tracker” newsletters that take a quick look at what’s new and interesting in the Banking , Snacking , Telecom and Tourism industries and one “ Generational News & Views ” newsletter that takes a quick topical look into the lives of Gen Y, Gen X and Baby Boomers. </li></ul><ul><li>If you would like a complimentary subscription to any of these newsletters, please e-mail [email_address] and mention your newsletter of interest in the subject line of your e-mail. </li></ul>