Square bar codes popping up around campus are not just for decoration. ACU innovators say they will help integrate the print and digital information worlds.
The bar codes, called quick response codes, allow students to transfer printed information into a digital format by simply scanning a code – and ACU provided all students with a free code reader download Tuesday
After a student scans the QR code, content is immediately sent to the mobile device. Content ranges from calendar events to opening a Web browser. So, if a group plans to use a poster to advertise an event, they can generate a QR code, add it to the poster, and when a user scans the code on his or her mobile device, the event will automatically upload to the phone, said Josh Tooley, Team 55/Help Desk Manager.
The organization could add a QR code that would put contact information directly into a mobile device or send directions to the location straight into the map on the device, he said.
Other areas of campus also plan to implement QR codes. Tooley said Team 55 will use the codes to link to a website that will allow students to schedule time to meet with a Team 55 representative. Any office on campus can put a code outside their office that would immediately transfer contact information to a mobile device.
The library already uses the codes giving users immediate access to additional content on their mobile device about certain books or book displays. Tooley said they would also like to see periodicals with QR codes that link to electronic versions of the periodical and possibly putting a QR code on complicated equipment like microfilm units that would link to a video of how to use it.
As the codes increase in popularity around the U.S., Dr. James Langford, director of innovation andÂ implementation, said ACU innovators wanted to start using them on the campus. He said the convenience of the codes will make them popular.
Many times, he said, students may see a sign for an event, and even though they’d like to attend, they are too rushed to stop and type the event into their calendar. However, pushing one button on your phone to scan a QR code takes a significantly less amount of time, he said.
“I’m hoping it will help in terms of convenience,” Langford said. “We’re going to have the print world for a long time. As mobile devices become more popular, it just seems to make sense to bridge that gap.”
The goal of the entire project is to help bridge that print-to-digital gap.
“The goal is not to use QR codes,” Langford said. “The goal is the enhance communication and make it easier to get from print to mobile devices.”
Tooley said students and faculty can download a free ACU version of the QR code scanner by clicking the link to the app e-mailed to them. Also, students can visit go.acu.edu to create their own QR codes.
Kevin Roberts,Â chiefÂ planning officer, said ACU is a good place to explore QR code possibilities.
“I think it’s going to take a little time for people to explore and get creative with using, but that’s kind of what we like about QR codes.” Roberts said. “We want to be innovating, providing tools and letting the community decide some of the best uses.”