The Powerhouse Museum has gone live with its first public experiment with QR codes.
QR codes are really glorified barcodes with the capacity to hold far more information than a standard barcode. Because of the prevalence of mobile phone cameras and the desire of telcos to drive data usage on mobiles, QR codes are getting a bit of a push at the moment outside of Japan (where they began).
We are currently using them in the campaign for Sydney Design 08. The QR code appears in the festival catalogue which is available all over Sydney (and can also be downloaded as a PDF from the site). The code itself redirects readers to a ‘hidden’ web page which provides a special offer.
Here’s the code. You should be able to decode it from here if you are savvy.
Update! if you have a lower resolution phone camera (iPhone included) then maybe try this simpler code. I think there may be a density issue on 2MP cameras and code readers.
We will be closely tracking its use and take up. We are keen to see just how many people are currently using and reading QR codes – especially seeing as one of the Australian telcos is running an enormous promotional campaign around them and the Olympics.
My personal feeling is that we won’t get a lot of take up – but as a zero cost experiment it is important to experiment. What will be even more interesting is how many people use their mobile phone to connect to the promo site (incurring the high data charges of 3G internet in Australia) versus reading the code and visiting the hidden site from a computer.
Hopefully by being an early adopter we can iron out some of the inevitable issues around QR codes early on so that we can build on our findings for future uses.