Technology is all around us, it’s true. But it’s usually something protruding out into our lives, such as flat-screen televisions, street lamps, and even radio knobs. The advent of touchscreens and inlaid displays are becoming the norm, so perhaps the times are changing. And if techniques being used in Brazil are anything to learn from, we might not even be able to recognize the technology right away.
Millions of tourists visit Rio de Janeiro each year, all set on enjoying the sunny beaches and vibrant communities. Now a unique approach to QR codes will give anyone with a smartphone the ability to access useful information, such as an overview map, about their current location. The QR codes are ingeniously built into the locations themselves, as the familiar pattern is created in the form of black-and-white stone mosaics alongside images of waves, fish, and other abstract images. It’s pretty awesome in general, and takes nothing away from the natural beauty of the area, as installing information booths or large displays would.
The first two were installed at Arpoador, a huge boulder at the end of Ipanema beach. (Say, I knew a girl from there.) It attracted onlookers, who were quick to access the app and the information therein. They learned about Arpoador’s big waves and the meaning behind its name, among other things. Rio plans on installing a total of 30 QR codes at beaches, vistas, and local historic sites, offering visitors a chance to learn something that embraces our love for electronics. Museums are going to be all over this.