By now you are probably familiar with QR codes. The first QR code system was invented in 1994 by the Japanese company Denso Wave, a Toyota subsidiary. They needed a more accurate way to track vehicles and parts during the manufacturing process. QR codes do serve a purpose. In the art world however, not so much.
QR codes are great for certain industries
QR codes are printed on product packages to provide detailed information that won’t fit on the package itself. PayPal uses them so merchants can accept hands-free payments. They can link to a video showing you how the product works, they may help you connect your product to your wifi. Maybe it’s used to register your product for warranty purposes. These are all fine uses for product packaging.
Playable Artwork – A cool experience
With enhancements in image recognition and augmented reality a new industry was born. Playable artwork has gained popularity over the past few years – adding a new dimension to art. This technology isn’t just for large companies to show you how that new vehicle will look in your garage or to chase Pokémon around your neighborhood. You can now create your own augmented reality experience.
Making your own playable artwork is quite simple. There are a few companies leading the way when it comes to bringing augmented reality to the masses.
Artivive offers a way for artists that create animations a way to enhance the user experience at the art gallery. Scanning the art they created will bring the art to life by showing the animation that goes with the artwork.
Soundwave Art ™ created a way for anyone to become an artist by turning their voice pattern into playable artwork. They also offer a way to make a photo you have scannable. It can play a voicemail from a loved one or even a video by overlaying the video on top of the photo through your mobile device.
Augmented Reality may sound confusing but it’s a cool way to enhance not only artwork but also photography.
Why QR codes are a bad idea when creating playable artwork
Though they can be used to make a piece of art playable, in order to do so you would need to have that “ugly” code printed on your artwork. Printing a QR code on top of your art takes away from the look and design of your art. Sure, you can have a card printed with the code so it is not on your art but then you need a place to keep that card handy.
Another downside of using a QR code with artwork is that it takes a few steps in order to get it to work. When you scan the code a link pops up that you need to click. When you click that it takes you to a website where your audio or video is stored, you then need to click play to listen to or watch the video. Is this a deal breaker? Well that is for you to decide but before you do there is another option.
Why Augmented Reality is the way to go
If you’re interested in experiencing playable artwork what is the best option? Place an ugly code on top of your art or photo? It’s our opinion that augmented reality wins out over QR codes every day of the week. Augmented Reality offers a much better user experience. In a way it is turning your art or photo into the scannable code, replacing the need for the QR code. Augmented Reality is also a one step process – scan and enjoy!