QR Codes as Tour Helpers – 017

QR CodesThe use of QR codes to provide in-depth information about products, services, and important events continues to grow in popularity as more people purchase smartphones and other mobile wireless devices. For cities, towns, historical societies and private enterprises, using a QR code provides an inexpensive method to present detailed information about local architecture, landmarks and defining historical moments.

QR Code Technology

Any mobile phone or tablet PC that is equipped with a camera can be used to access the embedded information in a QR code. The most recent models of internet-ready devices are already equipped with a barcode reader, but downloading an app for older smartphones works just as well. Finding a fully featured QR code reader in either the iPhone app or android app format is relatively easy. Some of the most popular apps include Optiscan, i-Nigma, Upcode and SnapMaze.

QR code is an easily identifiable two dimensional pictorial representation of information and data. They can be printed and attached to nearly anything including labels, signs, t-shirts and products. When the user swipes their smart device over a QR code, an instantaneous hyperlink directs them to a website where they can access detailed information about the item of interest.

Using QR Codes in Tours

The use of barcode technology in the tourism industry has evolved from a desire to offer visitors a more complete and interactive experience when they travel. Museums, exhibition halls and other public venues have always struggled to compliment visual exhibits with detailed explanatory information. Signs, placards, recordings and other stationary media tend to malfunction over time and can be subject to vandalism or abuse. A visitor with a smart device can scan a QR code placed near an exhibit or point of interest and access a wealth of practical, detailed information.

When engaging in a broader tour over some distance, strategically placed QR codes can provide travelers with comprehensive directions to the next landmark, as well as information on local restaurants, shops and other unique cultural distinctions. You can even download custom QR Code Readers specially created by some venues so you can get even more out of the QR codes they use.

Barcode Friendly Destinations

Travelers with a QR code reader and an iPhone app or android app are finding that progressive cities are employing barcode technology to help make business trips and vacations more enjoyable. For example, the city of Long Beach, Washington has posted QR codes at 29 strategic points of interest throughout the city. This includes attractions such as the World’s Longest Beach and the World Kite Museum and Hall of Fame.

New York City has also recently introduced its “Gotham Guide of New York.” Residents and visitors are given access to rich multimedia content with just a swipe of a smart device over barcodes placed near important landmarks throughout the city.

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