QR Code mosaics line Brazilian streets
Each year, approximately two million foreign tourists flood into the pulsing city of Rio de Janeiro (in addition to Brazilian tourist traffic) to sample its sandy white beaches, dance through its colourful carnivals and gaze wonderingly at the 30.1m-high statue of Christ the Redeemer.
Finding one’s way around a buzzing new city can be a difficult task, especially if you don’t speak the language; however visitors to Rio de Janeiro are now able to learn more about the city and its positive traits using their smart phones and tablets.
The city began installing a series of QR code patterns onto its pavements on Friday 25 January in preparation for the 2016 Olympics, starting at Arpoador by Ipanema Beach. Keeping in line with the traditional black and white mosaic tiles that already line the streets in this area, the QR codes can be easily activated using a free app for smart phones called ‘QR Reader’.
In scanning the pavement QR code, the user will be diverted to a tourist information website which lists details about area where they are standing, including a Google Map so they can find their way about.
The first of this series of QR code mosaics is located in Arpoador and its associated website provides information such as: “The place was named Arpoador because in the past, whale harpooning was common in that region. The whales used to migrate from the south in search of warmer waters. At that time, it was necessary practice because whale oil was widely used in construction to produce mortar.”
Other tit-bits of information include the length of the beach (500m), details of night-time sport activities and where to stand to get the best views of the Ipanema and Leblon Beaches. Warnings of strong waves in the area are both a warning to weaker swimmers and an invitation to seasoned surfers.
In total, 30 separate sites will receive their own patterned links, including Vista Chinesa, Quinta da Boa Vista and Relógio da Gloria. Sidney Haddad, founder of the digital technology company behind QRio, explains: “We tried to create something with the essence of being cosmopolitan, but with strong cultural roots. We propose to map the city with QR Code technology so that you can access information of a certain place without the need for signs, but through your mobile device.”