Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Going mobile and QR codes

For those of you who need your content on-the-go, we've mobilised Mr Science. You can now see the Mr Science Show in a mobile phone compatible format at And for those of you with an iphone, we have made a site especially for you here. To create these sites, we used MoFuse.

Mobile sites deliberately cut back on data rich content, so pictures are smaller and many of the other widgets, which are easy to download on your desktop but add up on expensive mobile data plans, are disabled. At the moment, as mp3s are disabled, if you wish to download the podcast, you need to do it through the normal desktop version of this site (which you can see on your mobile, but contains all the data-rich stuff). I would like to make it such that if you visit Mr Science on your mobile, your phone immediately redirects you to the mobile site, but alas there is no way yet to do that (well not in blogger, there is for wordpress blogs).

QR Codes

QR Codes (Quick Response Codes) are two-dimensional bar codes (like the one on the left) originally developed by Japanese company Denso-Wave. Having just been to Japan, I can assure you they are very popular there. They are similar to normal bar codes, but are more easily customised and allow you to access internet sites and download content to your mobile without having to type in a URL or go searching through Google.

We created a QR code for the Mr Science mobile site - it's that black and white bar-code looking thing on the left.

To use a QR code, you need a camera in your phone - they all do these days - and you need QR software - grab it from i-nigma if you don't already have it. Open up the i-nigma application and hold your camera near the code. Your mobile then reads and analyses the code and takes you to the page it is encoding. Try it on our QR code - it works on a computer screen.

In Japan, everything from restaurant menus to competitions on train station walls have associated QR codes so you can enter the competition or order from the menu on-the-go. You could use a QR code as a business card if you liked. Various places around the world are starting to use QR codes. The Brooklyn Public Library uses the codes to identity each of their branches, which they then add to flyers and posters. The Powerhouse Museum used QR codes for Sydney Design 08.

For more information, see bibliothekia and ReadWriteWeb.

1 comment:

  1. has news, forums, videos and a social network all geared towards QR codes. explains a little more about them