Thursday, October 25, 2007

QR Codes Show The Way

The Taiwan Academic Network Conference 2007 is being held this week at Taiwan National University. This year's theme is on ubiquitous campus and mobility, and one of the papers submitted is on using QR Codes to improve campus accessibility and navigation ("Study of Indoor Wayfinding Systems based on QR Codes and Spatial Navigation Models", by Yen-Yin Chu, Chung Yuan Christian University).

Chu's basic idea is to have QR Codes posted around the campus to help people unfamiliar with the environment find their way around.

It works something like this:
1) The user scans a 2D barcode (the encoded data looks like this: and enters their destination
2) The user views a webpage with a real photo of the environment along with an easy to follow direction to the next stop
3) After the user gets to the next point, he/she will see another QR Code to scan for the next set of directions
4) Eventually the user gets to wherever he/she intended

The demo implementation uses QuickMark's mobile barcode reader and their preliminary test results get a rating of 3.5 out of 5 for its navigation capability. For further details please refer to their presentation file.

Personally I think it is an interesting project but necessarily practical. A lot of times it is just easier to put up signs or ask for directions than learning how to make use of QR Codes, especially for the average mobile phone user who most likely do not yet have access to a mobile barcode reader. Nonetheless it is a good start and I am sure more location based services can definitely find a way to be incorporated with the use of 2D barcodes.


dlethe01 said...

Hi Mike,
Have you download NeoReader yet? Please let us know your opinion about it.

Anonymous said...

A similar navigation system that relies on barcodes. This one does not even need pictures.