Every day, we are discovering new ways to integrate QR Codes into our business operations and marketing strategies. And having QR Codes on unusual, strange, and weird objects and settings are becoming a trend! Would you believe you would see a QR Code gravestone in your lifetime?
In this blog, let me walk you through some of the unusual QR Code sightings all around the world.
What are QR Codes?
Before we go any further, what do I mean by QR Codes?
QR Codes are two-dimensional types of barcodes invented in the mid 1990s by Denso Wave, an automotive manufacturing company. They have been widely used in Asia, especially in China, long before they have gained widespread adoption in the Western world.
In the early 2000s, QR Codes started to be used in marketing, but did not gain popularity until the onset of the pandemic. This could be largely because of the technology that is available to us now. Today, most smartphone cameras can scan QR Codes. This means a person doesn’t need special equipment to read what the QR Code contains. The content is within reach in just a scan.
QR Codes are incredibly versatile. They are able to contain a large amount of information in different formats. More than serial numbers, they can link you to any web page that exists on the web. Among others, you can download mobile applications, find a specific video, connect to Wi-Fi, and store downloadable files inside a QR Code, and these are accessible by just pointing your phone’s camera.
QR Code Gravestone
Have you ever thought you’d see the day when we modernize a tombstone? Well, here it is!
Some people are starting to add a custom-made QR Code on the headstone of their dearly departed’s graves. Companies like Digital Legacys in Philadelphia and Living Headstones in Seattle sell QR Code tags that you can embed on your family’s or pets’ gravestones.
Once scanned, this QR Code could bring you to a website that memorializes your deceased loved one or to a digital guest book. This ensures that their memories last forever – or for as long as the website exists.
How about you? Would you embed a QR Code on your gravestone?
QR Code Tattoo
Some also choose to ink a QR Code onto their skin for whatever reason. In fact, tattoo artists are seeing a trend in clients who opt for QR Code tattoos. Some see this as a trend, yet others consider this a nightmare straight out of George Orwell’s 1984. Some people think this normalizes being marked for government tracking purposes, but as of now, these tattoos are made by individuals who want to be unique and creative.
If you want to have a QR Code tattooed on your body, you have to do careful planning. First, since tattoos are permanent, you have to be sure that the message or link you want others to scan is exactly what you want them to scan. Second, the design of the QR Code should not be too complicated to prevent mishaps. Third, you have to choose a spot on your body that is flat, since that’s how you scan a QR Code. Finally, you have to be okay with it not working at all. After all, artists are human, so mistakes are always a risk.
Would you tattoo a QR Code on your skin?
QR Code Crochet
A quick “QR Crochet” search on Reddit yields three exact results, including one QR Code Crochet that, according to comments, doesn’t work. (Further scouring the search results shows an additional one, but I refuse to go down that rabbit hole.)
A company called Stitch Fiddle can provide you with a QR Code crochet pattern or chart. You can write any text, phone number, email address, website, or business card details. The size and complexity of the pattern depends on the amount of information your QR Code contains.
Depending on your skill and the complexity of your design, you can finish a pattern in 5 to 6 hours on the average.
QR Code Cross Stitch
Like crocheting QR Codes, some are also cross-stitching them. The same site, Stitch Fiddle, also offers patterns for cross stitch and embroidery. You can include the same information as above, but this time, you create a cross-stitch.
This is great for homes and craft shops, if you’re willing to go through such great lengths!
Edible QR Codes
And just when you think QR Codes are permanent… Now, you can also eat them! Using 3D printing technology, Japanese food scientists have successfully printed QR Codes on cookies. You cannot see them from the outside, as they are embedded inside the cookie. As long as the cookie is intact, you can scan the QR Code using a backlight.
Aside from cookies, they can also be printed on rice paper, which you can place on top of sushi and other food as a garnish.
Edible QR Codes are not just something you do to stand out from your competition. In fact, they have a crucial use in health. For instance, scientists in the United States and South Korea have also found a way to embed QR Codes into medicines, in an effort to fight the prevalence of fake medicines.
QR Codes can be used to authenticate edible products and make sure you’re only putting the best and healthiest ingredients in your body.
Reminder: Don’t Randomly Scan QR Codes
Before you leave, a word of caution. In a previous article, we have discussed how QR Codes are being used by entities with bad intentions to scam people. This is harmful both to users, who are getting scammed, and businesses, who are losing clients’ trust because of these scammers.
Because of this, always err on the side of caution when scanning QR Codes. Unless you are sure that the QR Code comes from official sources, don’t randomly scan QR Codes you see around you. For ideas on how to protect your customers and your business from QR Code scams, read this article.
The unique and creative ways we can use QR Codes seem endless, as we discover more and more ideas to integrate this technology into different aspects of our business operations and personal lives. In this blog, we have discussed 5 truly unusual ways that QR Codes have been used. From strange tombstones and tattoos to quirky crafts and food, QR Codes are the way to go!