With the introduction of QR codes we find my idea beginning to resemble its final form as it stands now. To begin with I first conducted some basic research into QR codes and their current applications. They have seen a rise in popularity as a result of their compatibility with modern smartphones. Codes can be individually designed and printed in order to carry a particular sequence of data by creating a unique black and white tile. The shape colours and pattern of this tile are very distinctive and can be easily scanned by the camera on a Smartphone, Ipad or other capable device. Once read the information can be interpreted by the phone to open up media relating to the placement of the QR code. For example an advert in a magazine about cars may have a QR code attached which when scanned can open up a webpage containing more information on the car. The applications of this kind of technology are very broad indeed, however the challenge for me was to consider how i might use this technology to enhance my project.
This change of direction would take my project firmly away from fiction and plants my anti branding campaign into real life. My objective is to create an experience whereby the tager audience could be standing next to the advert that i want to “culture jam” then scan a QR code positioned next to it with their phone. After scanning their device would then automatically open up a webpage, on this page would be a video of the advert of they are standing next to, however this video is different because it would feature my anti-branding animation! This means that anybody with a smartphone could unlock the art within the piece of advertising. I am really excited about this idea because it takes the “boots on the ground” performance based realism of the projection idea whilst avoiding a large number of the issues that it presented.
The QR code idea brings its own challenges and stimulates thought about how best to use it. The first prerequisite to this plan working is that the audience member would have to own a smartphone with 3G capabilities. I do not think this is a problem for the project a sa whole as nearly everybody has a smartphone nowadays, especially people of my age demographic. Unfortunately I am the odd one out and I do not have a phone with 3G capability, however the principle really does not change because of the 3G element. If i can make the QR technology work in my bedroom then I can make it work outside.
I have already begun experimentation with making, linking and identifying my own QR codes. I purchased an app called Qrafter which allows me to create a unique QR code pattern on my ipad, link it to a URL of my choosing and then email it to a PC to be printed off. By doing this i am able to create and print my own set of functional QR stickers that I could post around town. The real beauty of this system is once I have used this app to create the code it will work with any QR reading system on any capable device, this means i could set the URL of my sticker to be a video I have made previously and anybody with a smartphone could scan + access it.
After a long development process this is an idea that am really very keen on. The next stage in the process was to actually move forward into the post production phase of the project. Which i shall detail in the next blog post.