Dec 19 2012
Basis Team

Is VR the New QR? Maybe


The QR code is getting a facelift. Understanding that QR codes have minimal value, Andrew Lippman of the MIT Media Lab has come up with a replacement. He, along with his graduate student Grace Woo, developed a new technology called video response (VR) codes. They utilize the ability of digital displays to transmit data through light and these light transmissions can be picked up instantly by smartphone cameras, transferring tons of data in the meantime.

The short post “QR to VR: The smartcode rebooted” on Wired UK’s website describes one experiment the MIT Media Lab recently carried out:

To show off their new codes, Lippman’s lab set up a public display called Newsflash: a wall of nine iPads showing the front pages of different newspapers with VR codes hidden in them. When you snap the photo, your phone can pull off specific articles, images and links from the display for future use. “We could have done this ten years ago, but no one was walking around with high-quality sensing devices then,” says Lippman, 63. “Now you can use the sensor you’ve already got to capture personalized data from the world around you. They are a component of the future.” Say “cheese”, adverts.

So what does this mean for advertising? I think it further encourages the unity between mobile and digital place-based. It allows for a digital place-based take away and encourages engagement.

I’m sure this technology comes with a whole new set of problems: How close do you have to be? What kinds of data can be transmitted? Can more than one person use it at once?

But, overall it’s pushing the boundaries of what is new and different in the advertising world.

Is this just a science fair project or is there value in video response? How willing would you be to test this out with your brand?