Microsoft’s BSOD QR Code

QR Codes are being added to Microsoft’s Blue Screen of Death (BSOD). The new QR codes are featured in the latest preview of Windows 10 which will roll out this summer as the Anniversary Update.

Microsoft's new BSOD QR Code

Currently the QR Code does not encode the stop code but points to a generic Windows help page (image below). Will the Anniversary Update QR Code resolve to a page that is actually useful and explains what each code means? Probably not but you can hope.

Microsoft's BSOD QR Code resolves to an unhelpful landing page

New Polo Ralph Lauren QR Code Campaign

Ralph Lauren first used QR Codes over 6 years ago, as we reported at the time. Amazingly that particular QR Code still works – try it and see!

This month, to mark the designer’s launch of Polo for women, QR Codes are being used again. Harrods, London’s upmarket department store, has given over its window displays to the fashion brand for a QR Code and NFC campaign (images below).

QR Code and NFC vinyl stickers on the windows allow consumers to scan or tap their smartphones to see an interactive map. The map will guide them to Harrods new in-store Fashion Lab and mobile website. Mobile proximity commerce company Proxama are using their TapPoint platform to allow Harrods and Ralph Lauren to track the progress of the campaign in real time.

Denso Launches ‘Frame’ QR Code

Denso have announced a new kind of QR Code called ‘Frame QR’. The new code has a blank ‘canvas area’ in the center of the code where images, illustrations, holograms etc., can be placed without affecting scanning and decoding. Frame QR is not compatible with normal QR Codes and requires different software to generate and read the codes. Denso plan to release a cloud service ‘Q platform’ which will include the generation using templates (image below) and decoding functions. A free QR Code reader app for iOS and Android which has the Frame QR reading function will be available as well. The release is due next month.

Example of a Frame QR Code

I am not sure as the purpose of this development and what Denso hope to achieve. QR Codes are widely recognized and can already have embedded logos and images. If a consumer sees a Frame QR in the wild they will scan it with their existing QR Code scanner app, only to find it doesn’t work. Even if there are advantages to the Frame QR I can’t see them replacing the standard QR Code.

Templates for Frame QR Code

Verizon Add QR Code To Authentication

Verizon add QR Code to Universal Identity ServicesVerizon’s 2014 Data Breach Investigations Report claimed that “The writing’s on the wall for single-factor, password-based authentication on anything internet facing”. It’s true, with two out of three data breaches attributed to lost or stolen user names and passwords, multi-factor authentication is fast becoming the norm. Of course multi-factor authentication does not prevent the theft of credentials but it does help protect against the fraudulent re-use of those credentials.

Yesterday Verizon announced that it had added QR Code login as a new feature of their Universal Identity Services. Users sign up for a Verizon Universal ID from a participating webpage and then download a mobile app that can scan a dynamically generated QR code on a login page. Once the user’s identity is confirmed they are authenticated to the website. The QR code login can be used alone or combined with a PIN number or password for transactions that require stronger security.

QR Code And NFC Talking Statues

Some of the most famous public statues in London have been given NFC tags and QR Codes to enable them to speak. Well known writers were commissioned to put words into the statues’ mouths and leading actors and actresses recorded the monologues. The project started this week and will run for a year. Illustrated below is the plaque for the Sherlock Homes statue in Baker Street with words by Anthony Horowitz and voice by Ed Stoppard.

My favorite is the statue in Archway in honour of Dick Whittington’s legendary cat, located on the site where the distant Bow Bells call young Dick back to London to claim his fortune. After you have seen and heard the cat three minutes walk away is the The Whittington Cat pub which has the mummified cat in a display cabinet on the wall.

Sherlock Holmes statue in Baker Street with the QR Code and NFC plaque

Screenshots of what you get on your mobile

Map of the statues in London with QR Codes and NFC tags