Attention all SXSW attendees, let the QR coding begin. At least, that’s what this year’s organizers are hoping for. QR Codes are fairly new to the U.S. and until recently were primarily used by Google’s Android mobile operating system. QR Code is short for Quick Response and is a type of barcode that can include information such as url links, geo coordinates, text and other data. The QR Code can be scanned by camera phones, usually a PDA, and the data contained in the code is transmitted to the user’s device. A special application is usually necessary for this system to work and most can be downloaded from the device’s application store. There are many to choose from so SXSW organizers have created a recommended list to get users ready.
SXSW.com recommends these apps:
Windows Mobile: Bee Tagg
Android: Google Zxing Reader
Local businesses located around the event may also incorporate these two-dimensional barcodes into their menus and advertisements as the user is able to gather digital information immediately just by launching an app and scanning away. With touch screens taking over, this technology could cut down on entering site addresses manually and also improve accuracy.
SXSW will have codes preprinted on badges of attendees and when these codes are scanned, they will link to a user’s my.sxsw profile where his or her contact information and schedule can be viewed. However, one can also generate and print their own QR Code for others to scan by visiting one of several free QR Code generating sites such as Beetagg or Kaywa. Personalized information can be added above and beyond what is offered on your badge code.
Veteran SXSW attendees recommend creating laptop graffiti containing usernames to social networking accounts, affiliated blog information and possibly ever a QR code. Be creative and keep in mind that your laptop lid may be your first and only impression at this massive event. You are providing a link between the real world and the interactive you.