If you live in Australia, you may have seen some funny looking Telstra ads lately. There’s a series of billboard posters of Olympic athletes, except where their head should be, there’s a funny looking box design. What’s this? What’s going on? Are you QRious?
The funny looking box is called a QR code. I like to call them glyphs, but that might just be me. Here’s the deal: using your mobile phone, you can scan the image. The image works like a bar code and can send you to websites, give you contact details etc. If you’re walking down the road, and you see a poster for a movie that looks like it might be good, and the poster has one of these glyphs on it, you could scan the glyph on your phone and moments later be watching the movie trailer. Telstra’s website has more information about these little boxes. Telstra haven’t released the codes for my handset yet, so I haven’t had a chance to play. But I’m very much looking forward to it.
The possibilities here for ministry are enormous. Here are some I’ve thought of so far. I’d be keen to hear some other possibilities (especially if you’re in a country where QR glyphs have been around a bit longer).
- Put a glyph on the bottom of youth event fliers. If the young person wants to find out more about your ministry, they can scan the glyph and end up at your web page.
- If you’re running a mission on a university campus, get everyone involved to wear t-shirts with a glyph on it. As they walk around campus, people might scan the shirts and find out when events are happening and what the mission is about.
- Put a glyph on the sign out the front of your Church. If a passerby is curious, they can scan the glyph and find out what you’re on about and your service times.
- Start a poster campaign with a really catchy and intriguing catch phrase. If people’s interest is piqued, they can scan the glyph in the corner and find out more information.
What I really love about the QR glyphs is the immediacy of it. If some one is interested, they can scan it right there and then and have the information instantly on their phone. They don’t have to go home first to look up the site. They don’t have to write down lengthy contact details or dates. It’s straight away into their phone. It frees you up to be really punchy and catchy with your advertising, without worrying if the message will get across. I can’t wait to start trying out some QR glyphs.
(I’m hoping the glyph in this post is the address for this blog. I can’t check it, so if you’re able to, let me know if I’ve done it right or if I’ve accidentally sent you to a garbage reclamation site in Canada…)
You might like to check out some of the other functionality QR codes can offer.
I’ve put together a 60 second QR codes for dummies overview at
It will show you some more general usage concepts.
Please call them 2D QR codes and not ‘glyphs’ – this space is confusing enough already :)
Some other suggestions specific to yourself;
Put QR codes on name tages with peoples names/email addresses and profiles.
Put QR codes into a ‘service sheet’ that provides a url to the service information maybe even linking directly into online bible passages.
Put audio recordings/podcasts online so that as i drive past the billboard out the front of the church I can snap the QR code for last weeks service to download the audio recording and not feel guilty about sleeping in on a Sunday :)
Those are some great ideas for QR codes, Dean. I especially like the mp3 download idea.
interesting … is this limited to only certain phones? my phone doesn’t do anything with the code.
and if so, for youth stuff, what is the likelihood of kids having phones able to work with QR codes?
just my thoughts.
Any 3G phone that has a camera and allows java can use it. If you type QR Code Reader and the model of your phone into Google, you should be able to find a program to install on your phone. I use a program called i-nigma which can be found at http://www.i-nigma.com/personal/GetReader.asp
This technology is still pretty new. Telstra only introduced it to Australia last July, but they’ve been steadily using it since. I’ve found QR Codes on billboards, in store advertising at Harvey Norman, and on Movie advertising at the cinema. If your youth don’t have it, either it’s only a matter of time or the whole thing will fizzle out all together. Considering Telstra is pushing it, I don’t think it will fizzle too quickly.
I’m experiencing a few bugs with the technology myself. I put together a poster advertising our Term 1 program and the QR Code I included didn’t scan. I’m not sure if the problem was in the Code or my printing process. It’s still a work in progress!
What happened to the old-fashioned way of talking to people?
Sometimes you need some help meeting people before you can talk to them. It’s all about finding new ways to connect.