That's it Brussels also has its barcodes! For some days now, the strange little black and white squares have spread throughout the four corners of the City of Brussels. Their shape, called QR codes enable passers-by who have a Smartphone to get information in real time.
So-called QR or Quick Response gets its name from the fact that once scanned by your Smartphone, you can automatically connect to an internet page that delivers a mass of practical, clear and concrete information, linked to the place visited: telephone, address, opening times, prices, services, agenda, history, map of the area, illustrations,...
A little bit of history
They first appeared in Japan in 1994 and it's only 10 years later that Bordeaux and Toulouse experimented with this connection system between a physical and a virtual space. But in Belgium, Brussels is the first pioneer in this matter!
QR codes in Brussels
The city has started to stamp stickers with QR codes in, for example, 24 important places in Brussels: on the front of the City Hall, at the entrance of museums, administrative buildings, libraries, swimming pools... Each code leads to an internet page where the information is available in French, Dutch and English.
How can we scan a QR code?
You need a Smartphone! Yes, but not just any one... It needs to have an inbuilt camera, an internet connection (3G network, EDGE, Wi-Fi) and a QR code reader. Don't panic, if your phone is not equipped with this type of reader, you can download it and install the application. It is available free of charge in the shops on line such as Apple iTunes, Android Market, Ovi Store, Blackberry App World, Windows Phone Marketplace,... Once installed, here's the next step: - Open the application for reading QR codes. - Scan it by using the camera in your telephone. - The application recognises the code and immediately loads the information onto the screen. Alexandra Ames