Just a month ago I talked about how retailers could add an element of interactive fun to the shopping experience: by encouraging shoppers to use their smart phones to uncover hidden deals throughout a store (say, through the use of a store-supplied app or the scanning of Quick Response codes) one could turn shopping into a scavenger hunt with rewards for all.
And just this weekend I was at a fund-raising event in which QR codes were scattered about the venue; each revealing a hidden amusing message upon being scanned.
Now, two organizations have taken this idea a step further. The New York Public Library recently launched a scavenger hunt style game played within the library, in which players completed tasks or located and scanned QR codes next to specific artifacts. As they did so, the players learned all sorts of cool things about what the library has to offer – significantly updating the library’s brand appeal.
Meanwhile in Europe one agency has dispensed with QR codes completely, in favor of something even more ubiquitous.
Consider: a QR code is simply a jumble of little black pixels that form the patterns your smart phone can read. The folks at Leo Burnett Madrid created a smart phone app that reads far simpler patterns: street signs. Their app is designed to scan and recognize each different street sign pattern, and upon doing so, produce pages from a virtual brochure describing features of the new Fiat Evo. Scan a stop sign, for instance, and the page on the Evo’s braking system appears. Of course, to encourage continual use, the app worked not just as a virtual brochure, but as a game, with prizes hidden within street signs all over town.
It seems, thanks to mobile technology, all the world really is a stage.