I was recently at the Gadget show live exhibition event at the National Exhibition center in Birmingham. One of the first things I noticed was the proliferation of the QR, Quick Response, code.
It is exactly the right sort of environment for it, being a Gadget and Technology based event, and there are undoubtedly a higher percentage of smart phone users in the crowd, but it was great to see a lot of exhibitors using QR codes on their stands.
One great example of integrating a QR code into a more real world application was using it to send commands to ARM chips to interpret specific commands. The device in the image below accepts a text message, either manually typed or input automatically when a user scans the associated QR code. The device is attached to a HTTP Service listener that picks up any successful SMS messages and triggers the attached ARM device. The ARM device is programmed to active the machines servo and release any tasty snacks it contains.
So in simple terms, scan the QR code, get sweets.
I've examined the Google code repo for the Java engine that creates QR codes a fair bit, (here is a blog entry on a QR CFC I put together) so it was great seeing these out in the wild, so to speak. I work for a marketing company, so I'm really interested to see how the QR code can be used effectively to help people find information quickly, and I think the Gadget show was a great example of that.
Here are some shots of QR codes from the Gadget show live exhibition. All these shots are also on Flickr.