I’m about to reveal just how nerdy Jeff and I are. I may regret this later! One of the things I made for Jeff (in addition to baking the heart brownies) was set up a QR Code scavenger hunt around our apartment. I think I’m pretty slow to catch onto new things because until recently, I saw QR codes popping up everywhere and had NO idea what they were. For the past year, I would see them in magazines, signs, on the bus, at the airport, pretty much all over the place and think to myself “hrmm, this must be part of some techie, secret game that only a bookish subset of the population understands, like geocaching.” It wasn’t until I discovered that I could create my own custom QR codes that it piqued my interest.
In case you are like me and have no idea what a “Quick Response” code is, it’s basically a 2 dimensional bar code that can store a lot more information than typical bar codes. In addition to embedding text, you can also embed links, youtube links, email addresses, google maps location, phone numbers and even a paypal link to buy an item now so its pretty useful. A QR code looks like this (it has 3 “squares” on its corners except for its bottom left corner):
(Scan the above code for a special message to my blog readers!!)
Anyways, for Valentine’s Day last week, I printed out a bunch of my own QR codes. There are a couple websites that you can google that will allow you to create and download your own codes. I used www.qrstuff.com which allows you to change the colors and download, print or email the code. In less than 10 minutes, I downloaded my codes, formatted them in photoshop to fit on one piece of paper (to save paper) and printed them out. Make sure if you are cutting out the codes that you leave some white border around the code because the QR scanner needs the white space around it to be able to read it. I had so much fun coming up with phrases for Jeff then plastering them around our place. The first code was taped onto our front door so it was the first thing Jeff saw when he came home for work. The codes all had some quirky, silly phrases and some clues that led him to the next one:
To decode the message, you need a QR scanner which is an app that you can download on your iphone or smartphone. I downloaded QRReader for free. To read the code, you hold the scanner over the code and it will scan and translate it for you:
The rest of the world probably already knows all about this, but since I just discovered QR Codes, I’m pretty tickled by it and had to share my fun way of using them. Jeff had a great time discovering and decoding all the messages I left for him. I can see making a QR scavenger hunt with a reward at the end a fun kids’ activity for birthday parties!!
Thanks for not judging us for being such geeks!!
PS. Don’t forget you have until midnight tonight (PST) to enter my $50 gift certificate to Haute Republic giveaway! Winner will be announced tomorrow!