For those of you interested in emerging technology, the following news stories about our community may interest you. We posted up two dimensional barcodes (called QR-codes) throughout our community that can be read by our residents (and tourist) using free software available for download on most modern camera phones. The technology we used was “FREE” and I would love to answer any questions to anyone interested in using the technology for their agency.
Link to story in the Austin American Statesman.
Link to Fox 7 News video on our project.
For questions about this technology please contact:
Hello Dustin: I am all over anything that is related to economic development. Can you share a little bit about how you are using emerging technology for EconDev?
Our community is fairly small, and because we don’t have an economic development corporation, we assume the role of managing economic development for our area. The use of the barcode project has spurred significant attention in our area, and has allowed us to show the other innovative projects and incentives our community has to offer businesses. I currently travel and speak on how technology can be used as a form of economic development, because there are many ways even a smaller municipality can use technology as a form of economic development. For instance, if you provide incentives for developers that bring fiber to the home (FTTH) to their developments, you can help to increase the overall attractiveness of the area and build important infrastructure at the same time (thus another form of economic development). Technology has become one of our most important aspects of economic development. I’d be happy to answer any other questions that you have. Feel free to e-mail me at [email protected] or call me at 512-272-5555.
Manor’s white paper ( http://www.cityofmanor.org/comwhitepaper.pdf ) does a great job of explaining how they’ve deployed this technology and contains links to useful resources. I think it would be wise to have a best practices QR forum where folks working with this technology could develop a comprehensive guide to it’s deployment.
I notice there is no attempt to inform users of what sort of content is available which might leave the approach open to having its usefulness diminished as more and more QR codes are deployed by other sectors of our economy. Perhaps a standard could be established that used icons above the codes or background colors to indicate what sort of information a code makes available.
It also made me wonder how easy it is to hijack a QR code. It seems like that system may be vulnerable to a new sort of fraud/vandalism because altering the signs with a marker of some kind could allow someone to misdirect users to a fraudulent URL. The white paper does not address any of the risks posed by this approach.
Thanks for the feedback. I agree that a QR-code forum is needed to continue this discussion. As a result, I created a QR-code group on GovLoop, which can be found at https://www.govloop.com/group/qrcodesingovernment.
In response to your question on potential security threats (such as hijacking), we have been testing different ways to embed logos (using an algorithm) that would be very difficult to replicate as in the image below.
It was not included in the initial whitepaper because our research on this area is still ongoing; however, it is our intentions to publish this information in our next whitepaper “Overcoming Challenges With QR-codes.”
Please feel free to call me at (512) 272-555 or e-mail me if you have any additional questions. In addition, I will continue posting information on this topic in the new QR-code group on GovLoop.