Five for friday – QR codes are back (again)

Five or so links from around the web about new and interesting applications of technology.

Today’s links are about QR codes, those 2-dimension barcodes that you see pasted around the place.

Though they may not be new or emerging, they are a tenacious technology and one of the few cross-platform ways to provide lightweight, contextual information to users.

With QR codes, you can provide bits of information (bookmark this title), network details (connect to our Wifi), URLS (get the link) and more directly to people’s mobile devices.

And this cross-platformness is a key reason that QR codes are here to stay and new applications for these barcodes of wonder keep emerging. To the horror of some..

Both Android and iOS phones now support QR codes out of the box. As of iOS 11, the iPhone Camera app supports QR code scanning and Android mobile devices also support barcode scanning via the Camera app.

There’s a reason we still use QR codes in some of our own digital installation projects, like Library Walls (See the Library Wall for British Council Libraries in Lahore below).

Here are some recent developments in the world of QR codes.

  1. First look at Instagram Nametags, its clone of Snapchat QR codes (TechCrunch)
    Like Snapchat’s Snapcodes, Instagram now supports their own profile-based QR codes. Called Nametags, these are a barcode image that provides a shortcut for people to follow you on Instagram.
  2. Qrocodile: QR reader for Sonos speaker system (The MagPi Magazine]
    A step-by-step guide. I feel like Qrocrodile could (and should) be applied to any and all QR code scenarios, not just Sonos speakers.
  3. Why These Bumblebees Are Wearing Itty-Bitty QR Codes (WIRED)
    Tiny bumblebees. With tiny QR codes. Yep, entomologists are now using QR codes called BeeTags (naturally) to monitor bees.
  4. Why QR codes trump NFC in China (Technode)
    Some background reading about the popularity of QR codes and why other proximity technologies like Near Field Communication (NFC) haven’t had the same impact.
  5. WhatsApp beta for Android gets QR code support for payments (TechRadar)
    WhatsApp are rolling out a way for people on Android phones to send money using QR codes via their WhatsApp Payments platform.

But also

iOS 11 QR Code Vulnerability in Camera App Could Lead Users to Malicious Websites (MacRumors)
A security issue to be aware of with iOS — and a reminder to always test and monitor your QR codes thoroughly.