Swiss Federal Railways (SSB) have introduced the ‘SBB GoodBox’, an innovative ordering and delivery service (images below). Goods ordered with the SBB GoodBox app before 10.00am can be collected from the lockers after 4.30pm on the same day using a QR Code generated by the app to open the locker. Currently the lockers are available at three main line stations, Zurich, Berne and Wylerpark. SBB has recently partnered with LeShop the Swiss market leader in online sales of food. Commuters can now order their groceries on the way to work and collect them on the way home. LeShop says the share of purchases from mobile devices has increased from 21% to 31% year on year.
Vogue has launched beauty product vending machines in Taiwan using QR Codes for selection and payment (image below). Users scan the QR Code for the item on display in the coin free vending machine with Vogue’s “Vogue Select” app. Payment is automatic, through China Telecom’s QR Code mobile payment system. A recent survey showed that 37% of smartphone users in Taiwan use their device at least once a month to purchase physical goods with mobile payment. Smartphone penetration in Taiwan is over 50% and you can buy almost anything (shoes for example) from a vending machine, so for the Taiwanese it’s a natural step in retailing. Taiwan TV news item video (in Chinese) below.
A group of scientists involved in ‘The Human Document Project’ are experimenting with QR Codes for very long term optical data storage. The scientist are interested in how data about the human race can be stored for millions of years and outlast the human race itself. Current optical data storage deteriorates after only a few decades but by creating QR Codes with one material embedded within another they believe they can extend this to a million years and beyond. The images below show show a centimeter sized QR Code with each pixel of the code consisting of a set of much smaller QR Codes with pixels of only a few micrometers in size. The full paper is here (PDF).
Facebook Android app update of October 11, 2013 includes QR Codes and a QR Code scanner (image below). Users now have the option of creating a QR Code on their Android phone to direct people to their Facebook profiles. There is also a QR Code scanner so users can scan someone’s code, go to their timeline and then add them as a friend. The first time Facebook experimented with QR Codes was in March 2010 and now they have finally arrived 🙂
Japanese businessmen are always suited and the odds are that their suit was supplied by Aoyama Trading, Japans leading apparel company. In what the company claims as an industry first, every suit they supply will now have a QR Code sewn into the jacket lining (image below). The QR Code will resolve to a new mobile site “Person’s Club” with all the normal stuff including special offers and information.
Interesting to note that QR Code on the inside of the jacket decodes as:
http://www.persons-club.com/ MEBKM:TITLE:persons-club web site;URL:http¥://www.persons-club.com/;;
QR Codes can encode many types of actionable text and the “MEBKM” bookmark format is used by NTT DoCoMo, the predominant mobile phone operator in Japan.