Monday, July 23, 2007

QR Code T-Shirt DIY

By now everyone has probably seen those Sony Ericsson commercials in which they use the SE logo as part of their tag lines, such as: I (SE) Music and several others. And of course, printing QR Codes on t-shirts is nothing new, so I decided to create one just for fun. It will probably be even more fun if I get to wear a real one on the street though, wonder what people's reactions might be? Hey, are you reaching for your mobile barcode reader already?

Sunday, July 22, 2007

QR Code For Price Comparison Results

Amidst all the excitement about the potential of mobile (2D) barcodes, one of the most frequently asked questions / comments is probably something along the lines of: Where can I find such mobile barcodes to scan? What happens when I scan a mobile barcode?

There are certainly numerous examples out there, but today I'd like to share with you one of those QR Code sightings at

FindBook is a sort of the local Taiwanese version of BestBookBuys or PriceGrabber. Their latest feature is to show a QR Code on the price comparison page, which contains the best price of the book of interest. That way, instead of taking out your paper and pen to jot down the info, you will only need your mobile phone to keep the search data handy.

Since the data contained is the QR Code is just plain text, it is fairly staright forward to use. Simply scan & save and you're set to view it whenever you like.

It's always nice to see websites incorporating the use of mobile barcodes and FindBook's attempt is a good start that hopefully stimulates more advanced applications/services. For instance, what if the user is able to receive price discounts or vouchers at certain bookstores as a reward for scanning the 2D barcode?

Not trying to be nitpicking, but for my particular book price comparison, the information encoded inside the QR Code is the price info of a pure online bookstore (no brick-and-mortar presence), rendering the action of storing the price information on the mobile phone redundant and useless.

Terracotta Soldier

The recent exhibition for the Terracotta Army of the Qin dynasty at the National Museum of History in Taipei is actually quite interesting. There aren't as many artifacts as I expected, but still plenty enough to give people a good idea of what China was like thousands of years ago.

For those who've never heard of the Terracotta Army, they are replica figures of life-size soldiers that were meant to be buried with Qin's first emperor so that he can continue to conquer/rule wherever he is going after death.

Personally, I felt the ticket price is a little expensive considering the size of the exhibition (NTD 400), but I got lucky as a lady sold us her extra tickets for half the price. Nonetheless, there were plenty of visitors yesterday, mostly parents with their kids (homework for the summer vacation perhaps?). The exhibition lasts till 8/2 so if anybody is interested, you better hurry.

Since we're not allowed to take photos of the authentic Terracottas inside, I had to settle on the replicas outside the museum. Actually, you can even buy one if you like them so much (NTD 10,000+ ). And if you are wondering what that mysterious looking thing is on the bottom left hand corner of the picture, it is a 2D barcode. You will need to download QuickMark's application either to your mobile phone or your PC (webcam required) to read it. If you scan it with your QuickMark enabled webcam, it will take you right to where the Terracottas were first discovered. Check it out!