Matrix Codes

I woke up to the BUZZ, this morning, Google’s new social networking tool.  The first person I saw was Sharon Peters (other than Brenda, elbowing me about my phone making some noise in my office).  What impresses me about BUZZ is how well it integrates into the rest of the Google community of apps, making it almost unavoidable.  But my mind keeps telling me…

Too many channels!

Too dang many channels!

Barcode of my Name
Single Dimensional

QR Code of my web site

I spent most of yesterday afternoon tinkering with matrix codes, which are two-dimensional scan codes — as opposed to the single-dimensional bar codes (see right).   I was especially interested in QR Codes with which you can express a wide range of information, to be picked up by scanners.  QRStuff includes an online tool that will generate printable codes that hold: text, website URLs, a telephone number, SMS message, contact details (VCARD), Google map location, or Facebook and MySpace profiles.  Then, you can have QRStuff print it on a T-shirt for you for only $19.95.

What makes these things so potentially useful is the wild range of smartphone apps that will scan these things with the phone’s camera. So I might walk up to a restaurant, with a matrix code by the door, scan it with my iPhone, and receive the establishment’s web page with menu, reviews, and dress code. Or, I might include one at the opening of my presentation Prezi™, that the audience might scan with their smartphones to load my online handouts or backchannel site — heads up you guys in Brevard County, Florida.

I also see this being played in some geospacial mystery or scavenger hunt-style games, which may be the potential of Kaywa‘s DokoDar.  But beyond that, I can only feel that there might be other ways that this sort of real/digital life connectivity might be used.

If I had a classroom, I’d ask my students?
What do you think?  What do your students think?

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Author: David Warlick

David Warlick has been an educator for the past 40+ years. He continues to do some writing, but is mostly seeking his next intersect between play, passion and purpose, dabbling in photography, drone videography and music production.