The JMSC has started using QR codes, which look like a two-dimensional square of barcode, on its posters.
Anyone who has a smartphone with a camera should be able to scan the code, which then takes them through to a URL.
Most phones equipped with a camera either come with a barcode scanning application already installed. If not, it is easy to download one, such as the “Barcode Scanner” application made by ZXing for the Android platform.
“It’s important that the JMSC is using the latest technological trends. The underlying idea is that today’s mobile phones are now like small portable computers that you can take with you everywhere and stay connected to the Internet,” said Cedric Sam, web developer at the JMSC.
QR codes were first used in Japan in 1994. The codes are still used most commonly in Japan where they are seen on billboards, shop fronts and in magazines and newspapers. Now an internationally recognized standard, they are also frequently used in Hong Kong. For example, Apple Daily prints QR codes at the bottom of its front page to direct people using mobile devices to its video website.
These “hardlinks” can be thought of as hyperlinks in the real physical world, allowing people to link to information found on the virtual world.
Last year, Google sent window decals with QR codes imprinted on them to thousands of U.S. businesses. These links may link to website URLs, but can also represent plain text, a phone number or even a geographic location that can be interpreted by your mobile computing device.
“We’re living in the real world but, increasingly, we are able to access the Internet’s massive amounts of information from more and more places other than a computer,” Sam said. “Advances in mobile phone technology and cheaper internet access, especially in a place like Hong Kong, means we’re going to see more links to the Internet from wherever you are.”