Fun Friday: Barcode-Style

qrjokeFun-only barcodes zone. 

When you're five years old, you don't get to make a lot of choices for yourself. Being good, doing what you're told, following the rules; it's exhausting. If you don't get to break out, express yourself and have fun once in awhile, you'll lose it. This is true no matter how old you are.

This morning I could see my little boy feeling struggling under the week's pressures. So in place of the uniform khakis he's supposed to wear to school, I laid out his favorite 'big boy' Volcom board shorts. That was all it took. Instant joy. A little self-expression and a break from the norm, and he was revitalized. So, I decided to bring that spirit of Fun Friday to The BarCode News today.

QR codes are great for business, right? The bridge between the physical and digital/changing the face of media/providing valuable marketing metrics— all that jazz. It's all true and wonderful, but today it doesn't matter. Today QR codes are for fun only.

Here on we have a free QR code generator{jcomments on}, with a little imagination it can become a veritable fun factory. For instance, earlier this month was my boyfriend's birthday. We work opposite schedules so I wasn't going to be able to see him on his actual birthday. How would I be the first to wish him Happy Birthday?! Well, during my time here at The BarCode News, I've learned that most problems can be solved with barcodes. This problem was no exception. I recorded a video of my son and I singing Happy Birthday and uploaded the video to my YouTube account (marked private) all straight from my iPhone. I used to create a QR code that resolved to the video URL, printed it out and taped it on the card. Next, we drove out to his job and left the card on the windshield of his parked car. That way, we were able to sing him Happy Birthday at 1AM when he was just leaving work and we were fast asleep at home. It was a fun project with a fun outcome.

Think about it, QR codes are like secret messages. Remember the decoder ring, a staple of many a happy childhood? When confronted with a QR code, your smartphone becomes a decoder ring. Want to send a secret message (or photo) to someone via email? You can embed the message in a QR code and email the code. There is something inherently fun about secret messages.

Another Fun Friday activity I remember fondly is the Scavenger Hunt. Remember, those? You hunt for clues, that lead you to the next clue, picking up a list of treasures along the way. What about a grown up Scavenger Hunt, where clues are embedded in hidden QR codes?

Go ahead, celebrate Fun Friday; it's good for you. We'd love to hear your ideas. Share them in the comment box below or on our Facebook page.

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The Point of Sale News, an online magazine dedicated to the retail industry.

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