Random Information Generated By a QR Code


I attended another great Mashed Libraries event in Huddersfield on Friday. (I’ll write a proper blog post about it later). As part of the event we were asked to bring/create our own name badges. So I decided to create one around a QR code, as one of the themes of the day was QR codes. This is it…

My QR Code badge for the Mashed Libraries Huddersfield event.

QR codes are basically barcodes displayed in a 2D square and when scanned with a QR code reader (often a piece of software in a mobile phone) you are taken to a web page. They are normally used in the physical/real world to connect to information on a web page. ie You can put a QR code anywhere you like – on a desert island and as long as you had an internet connection it would link to a web page when scanned.

I wanted to do something a bit different with my QR code, rather than it just linking to a static web page. So, using Runbasic I created a very basic webpage that displayed random information/misinformation about me when the QR code on the badge is scanned. If you scan the QR code above a few times you’ll see that the information in the last line changes. If you don’t have a QR scanner type in http://ggtestspace.weebly.com/randomgaryfact.html a few times to see what happens. There’s about 5 different pieces of information.

It was a daft and simple idea (that was the intention), but I wonder if a serious idea could be built on this. For example, could you put a QR code near a subject area in a library, or an exhibit in a museum, or a historic landmark and every time someone scans that QR code it gives you different/random facts about the subject area/exhibit/landmark, as a taster, rather than bombarding you with lots of information? If you wanted to find out more information about that subject/exhibit/ landmark, you could then follow a link on the webpage to more information.

The great thing as well about my badge is that I won a prize for it (one of the top six), which I really didn’t expect. 🙂 This is it… A bottle of Blandford Fly beer – It’s one of my favourites!

Blandford Fly beer bottle


4 thoughts on “Random Information Generated By a QR Code

  1. Hi Gary,

    Regarding QR codes in museums, a company showed off some similar technology a few years ago at Mobile Monday London. I can’t find their link now – but this is pretty similar http://www.powerhousemuseum.com/dmsblog/index.php/2009/03/05/qr-codes-in-the-museum-problems-and-opportunities-with-extended-object-labels/

    One thing to mention about you business card – make sure the site it points to is mobile friendly. The site you’re using just about works on a smartphone – but it’s worth considering the ~80% of people with lower-spec devices.

    Oh, if you ever want to create QR codes when you’re on your mobile – you can use my site at http://shkspr.mobi/qr.php


    • Thanks for the links/info, Terence.

      It’s really useful seeing how QR codes work in a practical setting and problems I hadn’t even thought of.

      I only made the badge for fun, to see what I could do (beta version 0.00001 😉 ) and to see if it worked. I think it appears as 2 point font on some phones that tried it! As an out-of-hours experiment I’m going to see where I can go with it and maybe with the other ideas I mention above.

      Thanks – Gary

    • I was wondering about something like that Vicki, but wasn’t sure how you could do it. Having a code would probably work. Could change the code regularly. Good idea. 🙂

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