Not So Smart QR Code

BBDO, Moscow wanted to show that the Smart by Mercedes is a perfect car for a big city with huge parking problems. In a city like Moscow where it takes an average of 19 minutes a day for a driver to find a parking place, small cars make a lot of sense. BBDO involved a city-wide chain of corporate self-service cafeterias in Moscow’s biggest business centers, where the lines during lunch hours are as bad as the parking situation. Cafeteria users were given a tray with a special sticker and encouraged to turn it through ninety degrees which naturally increased the number of trays on the counter by around fifty percent. Suggesting of course that this is exactly how it feels to park a Smart.

Nice idea but there is a problem. If you look at the image of the tray below you can see that it is an inverted (negative) QR Code i.e. the black squares are white and the white squares and the surround are black. Although in the detailed specification of the generation of QR Codes inverted versions are allowed, they should never be used. The reason is simple, most QR Code scanning apps can’t handle them and will therefore be unusable for the majority of smartphone owners.

I have reproduced both versions below, try them with your favorite scanner app and leave a comment on the results.

Inverted or negative QR Codes don't work with most scanners

3 thoughts on “Not So Smart QR Code”

  1. QR Droid 5.3.3 on a Nexus 4 running CyanogenMod 10.1 RC2 (4.2.2)

    Couldn’t do anything with the inverted version, didn’t even read it wrong, but picked up the normal one instantly.

  2. If you look at the video (e.g. 1:23) you will see that the actual stickers on the tray are not inverted but black on white.

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