Mental Floss

The Ubiquitous QR Code

David K. Israel
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QR codes, or “quick response” codes, were invented more than 15 years ago in Japan as a way to track automobile parts in production. But as soon as marketers got wind of the technology and smartphones came on the scene, the codes, which can reveal text messages, videos, Web pages and even dial a phone number for you, started being used in myriad ways. As QR codes become more and more popular, they’ve been popping up in the most creative places.

TV Commercials

One of my favorite examples was during the Lost finale lat year. Some of you fans might have noticed the flash of a red QR code during a True Blood commercial. If you stopped your DVR and shifted back to the code, you could pause the frame and scan the code. From there, you would have been taken to an exclusive clip from season 3. (In fact, if you try the red QR code here, with the blood, it should still work!)

Billboards

Tattoos

Tombstones

Games

Of course, readers of this blog may recall when we gave away a brand new Ford Fiesta using an inventive (if I don’t say so myself) QR code scavenger hunt that took gamers through Manhattan.

Art

And look how these fellows built out of nothing but sand on the beach!

And if that doesn’t rock your world, how about a hand-knitted QR code scarf?

This young lad got creative with M&Ms and built an edible one that takes you to M&M’s Web site.

And what QR code post would be complete without one made out of 5816 LEGO blocks?!

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