ZXing online QRCode decoder

A side benefit of the Graffyard post – I fell over the ZXing decoder. Not needed in the wild, but if you’re wandering the web and see a QRCode – or if you’re testing stuff – it could be quite useful. In fact, I plan on using it tonight to test pictures of meltybead codes.

Step one – find a QRCode on the web:

Step two – right click and copy the image location (for our example image, it’s http://mtoynbee.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/mtoynbeecom_md.png).

Step three – go to http://zxing.org/w/decode.jspx and paste the location. Click ‘submit query’.

Hey presto!

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The QRCode does not have to be as pristine as our example – this decodes just fine:

Graffyard – QRCode Graffiti preservation

Via @GreatDismal, comes now this interesting¬† QRCode project – Graffyard. I’ll let the artist give you the run-down:

I am using QR Codes to preserve graffiti for posterity by photographing the graffiti before it is removed. After the graffiti has been cleaned off by the local authorities or building owner i place a QR Code in the exact location which resolves to an image of the original. In that way a mobile phone with a QR-Code Reader can be used to travel back in time.

Before:

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After:

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Reminds me of a similar project – one to embed QRCodes that link to street art. Where did I see that…? >grin< One interesting enhancement that occurs to me – the ability to page through various versions of the surface in question – a time-stream of modifications/tags/etc.

@Spyboy comments, “But the QR code IS graffiti too then.¬† An augmented reality app that overlays the graffiti on the clean surface would better.” First and foremost – agreed. A couple of caveats though:

  • The QRCode approach is do-able. No RFID xmitter/receiver needed, no GPS fix required, no AR app installed. Point your phone at the meta-graffiti and away you go. It’s important to keep in mind that we in the US are way behind in cell phone kulturny – QRCode readers are almost a given in Japan and very common in Europe.
  • I like the idea of a human-detectable (if – obviously- not human-readable) cue. The code is an indicator – ‘something is/was here’.

The ‘AR app on a clean surface’ gets me thinking – will the next gen tag battles be waged by folks with good tech chops trying to subvert each other’s AR data?

Self-referential QRCode Awesomeness

I knew that JY (aka tikaro) had pioneered QRCode needlepoint, but it had slipped my mind just how self-referentially awesome his project was:

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This is the QRcode needlepoint that got posted in BoingBoing in 2007, and enjoyed brief stardom in the NY Times.

I sent the stitched needlepoint QRcode top to Amanda at Woolworks NYCand she sewed it up into a little velvet box pillow.

Woolworks are also the folks that stitched up the NY Post covers for Brigid Berlin.

The QRcode on the pillow embeds the URL:
semapedia.org/v/pillow *

Call for tiles

Having come up with a viable (meltybeads!) tiling scheme, it’s time to officially launch! If anyone wants to deploy a mediated toynbee tile in their neighborhood, fantastic. If you’d let me know, with a picture and a location, even better. My tile dropping will have to wait on warmer weather but you can expect daffodils and QRCodes to bloom simultaneously up here.

To assist – an engriddened toynbee code:

Superperlerstingcodes are GO!

As you can see from the post below, I’ve been experimenting with Perler (aka melty) beads. The starter kit I bought didn’t have enough black and white beads to finish the QRCode and I didn’t want to buy any bulk bags until I’d proven the concept so everything waited until today, when I swung by the local craft store and bought a mixed refill bag. Voila!

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A big thank you to Eric fritterfae Riley Рsteps 3 and 4 of his cross stitch Instructable really simplified bead layout.  And the test run:

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I don’t think my cell phone camera/scanner SW copes well with low-light conditions – it wouldn’t scan in late afternoon ambient light and I had trouble scanning a QRCode in a movie theater lobby (dim) recently. At least, I hope that’s why scanning was temperamental; more testing wll be done tomorrow.

And the explanation for the post title (for those of you who haven’t seen other references to it on the blog) is here.