Rating: QRpedia’s technology automatically recognises the preferred language
If there was ever an extremely clever use of QR codes. then it surely must be what QRpedia is doing with its Smart QR Codes. Basically these are currently aimed at one specific application – to help galleries and museums provide a mountain of information next to a specific exhibit. GoMo News suspects, however, that once news of what can be done with Smart QR codes leaks out, then they’ll be deployed in numerous different applications. What QRpedia can do from a single QR code is display information in the language installed by the handset’s owner. So instead of having to affix multiple codes for each individual language, one QR code fits all.GoMo News was chatting to Terence Eden, lead developer on QRpedia. He explained that Smart QR codes aren’t dependent on the origin of the handset itself or the country from which its SIM is supplied.
What QRpedia does is interrogate the default language of the browser installed in the smartphone itself. It is by no means platform specific.
As soon as the handset owner scans the QR code and connects to the QRpedia site, the default language of the handset’s owner browser is detected.
So, for example, even if the handset’s owner has a UK SIM card, the system will still display information in Bangladeshi if that is the person’s first language.
As QRpedia observes a typical museum display has less than a paragraph of text – often just in one language, next to a particular exhibit.
By contrast, QRpedia can give encyclopedic information (hence the ‘pedia’ connexion) in hundreds of different languages from one code.
The exhibit doesn’t even have to be physically present. For example, a painting by Joseph Wright was taken away for cleaning from the Derby (UK) Museum.
However, the museum staff have put a QRpedia code in its place so that visitors can still see a high quality image of the painting, and read information about the painting and its creator. Neat, eh?
Roger Bamkin, co-creator of QRpedia and chair of Wikimedia UK said, “QRpedia has been a successful catalyst for change in museums.
We see e-volunteers giving thousands of hours to support museums that they may never visit. Hundreds of new articles have been created in dozens of different languages.”
The best bit about Smart QR codes is that they require no specially modified barcode reading software.
Thus, QRpedia’s technology works with any cameraphone that has QR code reading software.