QRCode as signifier of hip

Via my contact Flickrstream, this photograph of a QRCode in the NYC subway. Problem the first (as identified by the photoprapher, Adam Greenfield): no connectivity in the New York subways. So you scan and then… Problem the second (may be user error): I couldn’t scan the thing. I have successfully scanned QRCodes from my monitor – no luck this time. I fed the image to ZXing – the image crashed the application. It may well be scannable, but the noisiness of the code itself and the overlay of the surfer’s head make me suspicious. I’m thinking this may be code used as a signifier as much as anything else. “We’re beyond the leading edge here! Look – a decorative bar code!” If you’re using a QRCode as part of a marketing effort and want it to be read, keep it simple. If I go to the trouble of pointing a device at your ad to get more info, I’ve made an effort. If I’m rebuffed because your code is made of fail, you are much worse off than if you hadn’t used a QRCode at all. High contrast. Non-reflective surface. Short URL. Or not – it’s your wasted marketing budget.

ur(L) doin it rong

Photo by Adam Greenfield, Urbanscale

Update: I stand corrected. Sharper-eyed Flickrer Vidiot detects the scanable QRCode buried in the designed-up larger version – look at the center of the square at 7 o’clock. Looks like a hella long URL (yes, I know, I’m ass-covering).

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