QR Codes on Platform 2

I am now seeing QR Codes more and more in what I would call the mainstream. My most recent observation was at my local railway station (managed by First Great Western) where I was checking the timetable and noticed the QR Code in the corner.

Looking at it in more detail, I just had to scan it in, well one does these kinds of things…

I use Optiscan on the iPhone as I have found it to be very reliable and certainly on the 3GS was the best option I found. The reason I like Optiscan is that it works nearly every time.

Of course all a QR Code is, is a shortened URL and no matter how easy it is to scan in with the phone, the key, the end result is how does the final web page look on your mobile device.

I wasn’t that impressed with the landing page as I had to click a link to actually get the timetable.

I am pretty sure that FGW have done that because the timetables change, but even if that was the case, they would also need to reprint the printed version so could then print a new QR Code. Another reason might be to gather stats from the landing page. The actual digital timetable was in PDF format and was usable on the iPhone.

However given the choice I think I would probably use the Train Times App (also available on Android) which also gives live travel information so you know if your train has been cancelled. The problem with a PDF timetable is that it won’t account for live changes to the timetable, you could certainly have a QR code on a printed timetable linking to a live timetable, and I think FGW should have done that.

5 Replies to “QR Codes on Platform 2”

  1. I am also seeing QR codes in unexpected place. A remote country real estate office window had QR codes on the fliers advertising houses.

    I am now working in a big FE institute in Melbourne. I think that we could be using QR codes for orientation around the different campuses or for an orientation week treasure hunt activity. I am also trying to encourage teachers to use them in the classroom. My theory is that the students are playing with their phones anyway…we should be harnessing this propensity by using this for our own educational purposes.

  2. Hi James,

    On your point about the ‘back end’ info changing therefore making it difficult to link to live, regularly changing info, did you know that delivr.com allows you to change the URL that the public facing QR codes point to without having to touch the QR code at al.

  3. Hi James,
    Many orgs are scrabbling around for a way of using QR codes at the moment, not a bad thing but it might take a while before things settle down and they are used consistently well.
    QRPedia are doing some great work with them where after scanning the back end sends the user to different pages depending on the devices language settings. You could imagine train/bus companies doing something similar after checking the time that the code is scanned to send users to the ‘best’ journey option taking into account engineering work and delays etc.
    Anyway, got to get going. Heading to the train station you took your photo at to take a trip to Cambridge.

  4. Incidentally, saw the train co do this first at Taunton, in the subway where there was zero signal! Don’t think they thought through the placing of the poster!

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