Paul Coyne, VP of Innovation, Emerald Group Publishing Ltd. showed how Quick Response (QR) Codes can give readers a “sixth sense” of information. QR codes were developed in Japan and are coming rapidly to cell phones worldwide. They can add contact details and present information to users. You simply take a photo of the QR code, and software on the phone will decode the information and display it on the screen. (The decoding software can be downloaded if your phone is not QR equipped.) You can even create your own QR codes using a code generator which you can save as an image to your PC and then embed the code into a book or in the library.
QR codes bridge the gap between the physical and the digital world. Many libraries and publishters are beginning to tap into the potential of QR codes because they are data-rich and easy to use.
Here is an example from Huddersfield University Library in the UK, where the codes are posted next to signs in the library. Library users can simply take a photo of the code, and the information is stored in their phone. There is no need to write down the information, or enter a phone number to initiate a call.
Here is another example from the Brooklyn Public Library:
And here at CIL, a directory of the bloggers at the conference with their URLs has been posted on the message board:
QR Codes can extend the life of print content for the mobile audience. The information can be kept up to date, provide reviews and ratings, other works by the same author, advanced title information, etc., and new information since publication can be added to a website.
Here is Paul’s contact data:
Columnist, Information Today, and CIL 2010 Blog Coordinator