There’s a terrific article by Terry Evans in the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram talking about how Texas’ Gateway to the West is starting to use QR codes to connect citizens to projects and information all over the city.
“A digital stop sign near the Richland Hills tennis courts entrance isn’t at an intersection and isn’t intended to make anyone stop.
It’s one of a handful of signs bearing quick response codes — pixilated swirls and squares that speak to smartphones — designed to lead people to information, said officer Nathan Stringer, who oversees the Richland Hills Police Department website.
The signs are Richland Hills’ first step aboard a technology train that’s hooking up cities across Tarrant County to residents and visitors, Stringer said.
“Right now all it does is direct you to our Web page,” he said. “Once it’s all up and running, it will direct you to [information about a] particular facility.”
The city hopes to have an interactive system in place by the end of February that lets users reserve a facility from a smartphone, Stringer said.”
In addition, Capital Metro right here in Austin is rolling out some new technology that quickly delivers useful, timely, and sometimes promotional, information to its riders using programmed quick response (QR) codes. This pilot project includes placing the QR codes at bus stops and rail stations.
What is a QR code?
Simply put, it’s a type of barcode programmed with information that a camera-enabled smart phone can read. The code prompts your phone to do anything from dialing a phone number to adding contact information into your address book. Originally introduced in Japan in 1994 as a tracking method for packages, QR codes have evolved into a diverse range of uses.
How does it work?
You must have a camera-enabled smart phone. Download a QR code reader by texting SCAN to 44040. Depending upon the code displayed, users will receive the following type of information:
Bus Stop Info – Scan the code at several bus stops around town for the next scheduled bus arrivals, detours and other information.
Promotions – Scan the codes on special signs or posters to get exclusive discounts and deals on local merchandise, restaurants and entertainment.
Real-Time Schedules (future use) – Capital Metro is developing the ability to track buses and trains in real time to provide accurate arrival/departure times.