QR Codes Revisited

Update: ^^^ Oh man, that's a priceless expression on my face. :P

I'm sitting at the Halcyon cafe in downtown Austin with a cool bunch of technically-inclined people from SXSW and talking to Richard Rutter about QR Codes.

I was telling Richard about the Singularity expo stand that I ordered and received just before setting off for Austin. It has a big ass QR Code on it with the short URL for the conference (http://si-conf.com).

I usually mention QR Codes, which are special square bar codes, in my talks as they have the potential to alter our actual landscape with links to the virtual world via URLs. I feel they'll eventually be playing a role in creating a layered/augmented reality when coupled with other location-based technologies like GRPS and cell-tower triangulation and the proliferation of free wireless Internet.

Richard mentioned that it would be cool if QR Codes could be incorporated as water marks into pictures, to which I replied that QR Codes exist with pictures in them. (Not sure if anyone is using QR Codes as watermarks, but if not, it is a great idea to be able to scan a photo and, for example, get the link to its Flickr page.)

The problem, as Andy pointed out, is that not all mobile phones have QR Code readers and even if they do, most people aren't aware of them. Wouldn't it be cool if, by default, the camera on a cell phone recognized a QR Code if it saw it and read it?

OK, so we're wandering off to Whole Foods for lunch now, so I'll cut this off here.

Update: Roger Smolski contacted me to tell me that he has an online magazine devoted to QR Codes. Very cool. Check it out.