QR Codes, Making the Real World Digital

Space Invaders scarf with QR!First we got rid of newspapers, soon CDs will go the way of the bowler hat, and now the digital world is poised to replace our real life one as well. And by that, I’m talking about QR codes, which are basically bar codes that can be scanned by cell phones (with the right software) which are then redirected to a URL with more information about the bar code.

For example, a restaurant might have a bar code on its outside window which, when scanned, will provide a user with the entire menu. Or a bus stop might have a QR code that can tell you when the next bus is coming.

As with everything cool, it’s huge in Japan and we’ll see it take off here in the US in about 15 years, I’d imagine.

For exciting external resources, you can read up on it at Wikipedia or peep this killer Space Invaders scarf that has secret QR code woven into it.

Update: Roger Smolski, who started the online magazine 2-d Code, emailed me and asked if I’d help spread the word on his mag and all things barcode that it represents. So there, I have.

Up Next: A Walking World