On a smaller scale, Hankyu department store in Osaka is giving away cute Valentine’s Day chocolates wrapped in QR code paper to every customer who spends over ¥3,000 on chocolates. Once the code is scanned, it links to a site that plays a short animated message to the receiver. Women can chose between six different messages that will – in theory – chime with their feelings toward the guy getting the sweets.
In Kobe, a company called Hyogo Shoukasen Hyoshikigaisha (basically an outfit that sells ads on fire hydrants) have introduced a new scheme that utilizes the QR code for emergencies. The town now has 800 stickers displaying QR code which, when scanned, display information about the nearest fire hydrants and direct users to designated evacuation areas.
While QR codes have yet to take off overseas, we expect, at least for the foreseeable future, that they will be further integrated into the fabric of Japan’s city streets, be it for grand advertising/marketing campaigns or a smaller municipal projects designed for citizens and tourists. The big question mark is whether emerging augmented-reality applications will someday make QR codes a thing of the past. (Japan Pulse)