Rooftop QR Codes Aim to Infiltrate Google Earth



Here’s a circuitous route to free advertising on Google: An Austin, Texas, firm will install QR codes on rooftops in an attempt to sneak into Google Maps.

via Rooftop QR Codes Aim to Infiltrate Google Earth.

This is a mashup that combines QR Codes and Google Earth to give companies exposure. It’s also an example of augmented reality to the extent that it is an infiltration of the digital into real life (RL), which reinfiltrates the digital world. Even if there have been one billion downloads of Google Earth, is this still “worth it”?

Few Consumers Are Cracking The QR Code

Some of my students are becoming aware of my penchant for using QR codes on handouts and in presentations to direct them to web resources. But it gives me pause that they are not widely adopted in the US. I heard this report yesterday, too. Give a listen and weigh in on this technology. Would you use or not? Why?

If you drive by billboards or flip through magazines from time to time, you may have noticed pixelated squares popping up all over the place. These aren’t scrambled checkerboards or alien landing pads, but QR codes, short for quick response codes.

The codes are scanned with a smartphone camera, kind of like one might scan a bar code, and marketing departments all over the country are coming up with clever ways to use them.



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QR Codes and Digital Exclusivity? » Sociological Images

A QR, or Quick Response, code on a bulletin board of a college campus:

by Guest Bloggers Dave Paul Strohecker and David Banks, 19 hours ago at 10:43 am

Steve Grimes shared this image and some interesting thoughts about how Quick Response codes, or QR codes, can contribute to inequality. That is, QR codes such as these serve to make certain content and information “exclusive” to those who have smartphones. He states,

There is a general thinking that technology can create a level playing field (an example of this is can be seen with the popular feelings about the internet). However, technology also has a great ability to create and widen gaps of inequality.

In a practical sense the company may be looking for students who are tech savvy. Using the matrix barcode may serve that purpose. However, the ad also shows how technology can exclude individuals; primarily in this case, students without smart phones. Ironically it is especially the students who need work (“need a job”) who may not have the money to afford a smart phone to read the ad.

Grimes’ thoughts are judicious, and reveal the inherent structural difficulties in alleviating inequality.  QR codes are one form of “digital exclusivity,” the tendency of technology to re-entrench (mostly) class disparities in access to information. Though they may be able to access the information later when they have access to a computer, the person who has the smartphone is certainly living in a much more augmented world than the person without.

via QR Codes and Digital Exclusivity? » Sociological Images.

Yesterday in class I used QR codes to direct people to a link to a blog post I was discussing. Was I being “exclusive” of people who don’t have smart phones? Education is supposed to both help us learn new things and “level the playing field.” How should we both embrace technology and level the playing field in college classrooms?