This is a video tag sort of QR code; you can point your smartphone’s camera to it and with the right app (usually a barcode reader but in this case the Microsoft Tag app) some sort of content will pop up.
Content can be everything from some text describing the item that the code is on, to a URL that will open in your phone’s browser, to the coolest thing – a little video playing on your phone.
I can think of some imaginative ways to incorporate these into your downtown walking tour’s historical markers, for one thing. My Canadian friend Todd Lucier and I are on the same wavelength about QR codes these days….here’s his recent blog post QR Codes: making interpretive signs come to life.
What ideas do you have? Please share in the comments!
Couldn’t agree more with you. These codes will become mainstream in due course. While great for sharing deeper content while someone is in market, I also think they have a real role in the advertising side of tourism marketing. At the risk of being accused of link dropping, here is a link to a post I wrote showing how the Gulf Coast tourism marketing folks (specifically FL) could increase the power of the advertising during the oil spill.
Seems to me the big hurdles are consumer awareness and understanding of QR codes, smart phone penetration and having the software. Think if smart phone manufacturers could be persuaded to pre-load the software on all smart phones, that could be a huge lift in adoption.
Great post, Tom! Glad you did a video – seeing is truly believing with that stuff. And yes, when people can simply fire up their smartphone camera and have things kick into gear automatically, that’s when the mainstream will start to recognize and use them.
Here’s where it gets good: use these techniques to leverage your existing assets. That long welcome video someone did long ago? Use snips of it here. That great audio recording of a town founder? Tag it onto a sign. That wonderful walking tour brochure? Put the content on posterous, and put a link in a QR Code. Put that QR code on everything you send out. So many possibilities to make more use of the work you’ve already done.
PS – I dare you to put a welcome video on your city limits sign via code/tag!
I will say one of the coolest uses I have seen for QR codes and tourism was at a park that had a small plaque in front of a statue. The link took you to a site that told you about the statue.
As a major history fan and also as small business marketing expert, I thought of a really cool way to take it to the next level, and you guys have hit it right on the dot. I love to goto old forts and walk the grounds. They always have information plaques that tell you brief information about it. Well with everyone having smart phones now, why not add a QR code that links to a video that tells you all about it and shows you any type of footage related to that item. That is one great way to use qr codes in relation with tourism.
@Becky – Your idea of putting on the city welcome sign is awesome! One of my clients is actually a small city that is very interested in new technology. I may try to see if I can interest them in doing something like that. I will post back here if it works out.