There is no doubt that QR Codes are becoming more and more popular. You see them everywhere, from advertisements to product packaging. But how can they be used in smart city development?
While QR Codes represented a static way to present information in the past, they are now becoming increasingly interactive. Multiple QR Codes can be scanned for real-time updates on traffic conditions or construction projects.
They have become a revolutionary tool to help cities become “smart.” With the increasing use of smartphones, QR Codes are becoming an increasingly popular way for cities to provide information and services to residents and visitors. By simply placing them on street signs, city planners can offer residents and visitors instant and countless information about the surrounding area. This can include everything from restaurant and shopping recommendations to directions and public transportation schedules.
In this blog, we will explore some unique ways to leverage QR Codes for developing smart cities and how they can benefit us.
Table of contents
- Out-of-the-box ideas for using street sign QR Codes
- Tips to make QR Codes stand out
- QR Code street signs around the globe
Out-of-the-box ideas on using street sign QR Codes
Implementing QR Codes opens up various advantages for citizens and makes their day-to-day life way easier. Many event organizers can actually encourage people to scan a QR Code to find out more about free events they can enjoy or even get discount codes for tickets.
Tourists also might find navigating a new city challenging if it’s their first visit. After all, the people who know the most about a city are its locals. So why not give the tourists an interactive and immersive experience where they can experience the local events and go to local delicacies and other popular attractions that usual internet blogs don’t talk about?
So here are some out-of-the-box ideas to use QR Codes for street signs and leverage them to grow businesses in and around the city.
1. Utilize dynamic QR Codes to spread information of public importance
Democratizing access to information has become vital in today’s world. By sharing and discussing topics of great public interest, one may quickly save essential data for them by embedding QR Codes on street signs.
Moreover, by using dynamic QR Codes, one can change the information linked to the QR Code without reprinting or replacing signs. This would be practical for sharing time-sensitive information, such as temporary street closures due to construction.
2. Promote transparency and honesty
Keeping citizens updated about different initiatives ensures greater transparency and integrity within a smart city, where information on current projects can be accessible to the general public via reliable sources.
Sticking QR Codes of the municipality’s social platforms or website incorporating relevant stats, along with all other essential details accurately, can be extremely educational for the public.
3. Promote landmarks and history
QR Codes on landmarks, displays, or printed tour materials will provide visitors with more educational content. Most importantly, they will do it environmentally responsibly and without using many resources.
Using a sharable video QR Code is a fantastic option to make sightseeing spots more accessible to viewers.
4. Improve entertainment with the simplest of things
Thanks to QR Codes, learning about landmarks turned out to be fun. Adding audio linked to sites, organizations performing community services, or building scavenger hunts in cities’ most iconic spots will be tremendously successful.
Putting a QR Code for websites on street art also allows visitors to find places of interest quickly and more entertaining than usual.
Once you have someone scan a QR Code, you can also work on staying in touch. For instance, if a mobile number is used for logging in to the website or accessing data, you can use WhatsApp marketing tools to update people on new features, public information, construction projects, etc.
5. Great for directing the public in the right geographical direction
Whether for tourists in the city or those visiting from another town, QR Codes offer a great way to show people where they can find the things they need the most. This lets everyone know about the designated parking lots, smoking areas, public restrooms, and other amenities.
6. Gather public opinion
For a governing entity, it is not strange to want to hear what the public has to say about the work that has been done. Whether this concerns past projects, future projects, or even events within the city, QR Codes can significantly help. Public opinion is crucial, mainly when innovative solutions are applied.
By placing QR Codes around various project areas, public places, etc., government officials can allow the public to partake in forming an opinion about what their government is doing. This is a great way to bring the public closer to the city’s work. It also raises public awareness about current affairs.
3 tips to make QR Codes stand out for the public
Now, when you turn to QR Codes to guide the public through the city, you want to ensure that your QR Code stands out and is easily scanned by smartphones. So here are a few tips to keep in mind to make the QR Codes stand out and be easily accessible:
1. Add a CTA button
The public won’t be aware of the embedded information if there is no CTA with a QR Code. So, you need to specify the information the end user will receive on scanning the QR Code for added value.
2. Pick the right locations
Consider placing your QR Code in a location that can be easily seen without clutter. It is advisable to put them in locations that are easily accessible such as parking zones, pedestrian zones, and other public places.
3. Customize QR Codes to fit the need
Many people may think that QR Codes are, in most cases, the same. Well, not really. Custom QR Code generator platforms offer users cutting-edge features with incredible customizability. Most cities want to make these QR Codes stand out with images, including key figures, historical monuments, and related colors.
Street signs with QR Codes in several cities around the globe
The smart city of Mangaluru (India) presents a fantastic reference model for using this technology. In fact, several QR Codes all over the downtown display local information about garbage collection activities. Currently, there are over 500 gates and walls of homes in the Mannagadudda Ward, which serve as a way for garbage collection companies to know whether the garbage has been picked up in different areas. The data shows up instantly in the company’s database system once residents scan the code.
These simple steps facilitate tracking trash cans and ensure delivering highly effective service in Mangaluru.
Riyadh Saudi Arabia
Riyadh in Saudi Arabia has a more spread-out purpose for QR Codes utilized across different sectors. The middle eastern city has used it so far for:
- Managing city administration
- Improving services in the hospitality industry
- Authenticating certificates
- Facilitating access to the HR management system for job applications
The holy city of Mecca also opted for QR Code technology to maintain the safety and well-being of the enormous number of pilgrims who come throughout the year.
North Carolina, USA
QR Codes are used for navigation in various North Carolina trails. With the QR Code signage, people can access information of great use. Information such as the distance to nearby businesses, services, and parks is available. The scanner will also be redirected to Google Maps directions for an accessible location.
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
The largest Vietnamese city uses QR Codes to provide useful street info. Available in Vietnamese and English to cater to tourists and widen the reach of users. These codes show the street names, history, length, and width.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
You can find around 30 different QR Codes in Brazil’s second most populated city. They are primarily in public spaces, like beaches, vistas, and various iconic buildings in the metropolitan area. The initiative connects with many tourists who visit the city annually—giving them a memorable experience in Rio.
Seoul, South Korea
One of the most standout use cases of QR Codes can be seen in Seoul, where QR Codes are implemented for visitors to scan and receive information on popular attractions and nearby facilities, such as restaurants and restrooms, with a quick scan on their phone. A total of 176 QR Code posters are used across 11 different riverside parks.
Resorting to modern technology, such as QR Codes, has become vital. We live in a culture where people actively seek information and are always looking for easy and innovative methods to do so.
Smart cities enhance inhabitants’ quality of life by making various operations more efficient. Citizens and tourists may learn more about streets, receive additional insight into the city’s history, or discover the nearest restaurant by simply scanning a QR Code!