When I was a child, we played with chalk. We signed our names, we sketched daisies and diamonds and puppy dogs. Left to our own devices on carefree summer days, we personalized our world. Like the raucous undergrads who sneaked out and painted The Rock on Washtenaw Avenue, near the University of Michigan campus, we altered our environment simply to show that We. Were. There.
But in 2012, sidewalk chalk has been trumped by a new, technological signature: the QR code. QR codes are similar to the bar codes found on most products. Inside a square are digital patterns which, when scanned by a smartphone or an iPad with the proper application, connect the user to a website with the personal or business webpage incorporating text, photos and even videos.
At first primarily a business device to encourage technophiles to learn more about a company, the codes were printed in magazines and on book jackets. As Americans load up on smartphones and high-technology, the QR codes have become more commonplace. Today, you can find them on books and babies, clothing and cars, cookies and cats, tattoos and tombstones. Here’s what I mean:
Does your pet tend to wander? A QR Code on Fido’s collar will ensure a safe return home.
Aunt Bertha was such a wonderful woman! You wish people could know about her gooseberry pies and her talent for square dancing. A tombstone QR Code can lead to your memorial website where you display favorite photos, and where family and friends can reminisce about life on the farm.