Get a P8TCH at the Boing Boing Bazaar


36 Responses to “Get a P8TCH at the Boing Boing Bazaar”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I’ve been working on a contact sharing QR code system that incorporates some augmented reality bits to it (hows that for buzzword bingo :) ). I haven’t field tested the AR stuff yet but I have a quick demo video at

    It’s not a velcro patch (at least not at the moment) but it’s similar in concept.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Alternatively, make your own:

    Much MUCH cheaper and you can embed any code you like thus not relying on a third party server

    • tikaro says:

      Anon, my pride as the seller is slightly wounded when you say “much MUCH cheaper”, as if I were selling a tincture made from the corneas of French gnats. Inkjet transfer paper, like the stuff referenced at the link above WITH THE EXTREMELY FAMILIAR FLAME DESIGN ON THE PATCH, AHEM, is not all that cheap.

      But that’s, of course, besides the point. My goal here is to play with barcodes, and the more the merrier — everyone should be aware that this is an open standard!

  3. Anonymous says:

    cant use em in Australia or else they dont sell them… I will make my own

  4. Anonymous says:

    This is a fantastic idea. I love the idea. Plus what another person commented about the cards and video taping someone’s mom. That’s fantastic!

    I had written an article on both QRCodes and Microsoft’s Tag for our company.

    I was exploring the use of QRCodes and how they are used by some of our customers. It’s quite a fun side of computing.

    I will definitely have to get some of these patches for our jackets at work. Thanks for the information.

  5. oasisob1 says:

    Please tell me how to pronounce ‘p8tch’. “Peightch”?

  6. theyallhateme says:

    Bummer, looks like the cooler styles are out of stock. :(

  7. Anonymous says:

    On the iPhone, give the free Lynkee QR Code Reader a try. Best

  8. cubicblackpig says:

    Okay, cubicplackpig, PREPARE TO BE IMPRESSED:

    We-ell… that’s pretty good. ‘s still not a knitted jumper, though.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Kudos to people who have it point to 2G1C or Goatse its a wonderfully cryptic way to gross people out at parties.

  10. nutate says:

    Their use case is something like:
    A: “you’re cool”
    B: “wanna internet stalk me? scan this”
    A: “sweet thanks, you just rickrolled me with your patch”

    But in reality:
    A: “you’re cool”
    B: “wanna internet stalk me? does your phone do QRCodes? you can download an iphone app and take a photo of this patch”
    A: “but I don’t have an a) an iPhone, b) a phone does this c) the time to download some app right now and d) any desire to stalk you anymore.”

    That said I saw these all over Tokyo, so… some large techie population is using this sort of thing.


  11. will_orz says:

    I feel somewhat out-of-line in posting this, but comment #4 made me realize that I could use a QRCode app on my iPhone, and I notice the article image displaying an iPhone screen. I therefore come to you asking for a proper QRCode app, as using the search function turns up a few low-rated apps.

  12. phisrow says:

    When discussion of Microsoft’s pet barcode technology came up a while back(might have been on slashdot) there was considerable concern. Instead of the QR code, which can encode an arbitrary sequence of the user’s choice, Microsoft’s Tag was a restricted little chunk of data that depended on a Microsoft server to be redirected to the desired URL. And that chunk was tied to a particular account, so it could be tracked, billed, or shut down at any time.

    While I have no reason to believe that our humble and charming merchant here intends any evil, his product has exactly the same architectural features: instead of getting the advantage of QR code’s arbitrary encoding ability to point to my URL of choice, I get a fixed-purpose tag that points to a server I don’t control. I have no idea what that server is doing with the information about when and how often my tag is scanned, nor do I know how long it will remain up, and whether it will obey my redirect preferences in the future.

    I’d definitely pay to have the string of my choice, QR encoded, embroidered on a snazzy patch, with that string being a URL that I control. Being tied to somebody else’s URL shortener, though, makes me nervous.

  13. Fex says:

    “That said I saw these all over Tokyo, so… some large techie population is using this sort of thing.”

    That would be everyone – basically all phones have a QR code reader built into the baseline software. Once it becomes ubiquitous it’s really, really useful.

    “I therefore come to you asking for a proper QRCode app, as using the search function turns up a few low-rated apps.”

    I use QuickMark and have been very happy with it. Costs a dollar but has worked very consistently for me. It suffers from the usual idiots who give something a 1-star rating when they don’t understand what it does.

    BTW, anyone else noticed that the QR code on the right above links to a dead MobileMe account?

  14. Anonymous says:

    No, no it’s not easier.

  15. tikaro says:

    @oasisob1 that’s exactly correct; just be sure to make a kitty-hork noise when you say it “pHORKK-k-kthch!”

    I’m the vendor, and I just say “patch”, the eight was so I could register the domains “” and the very short “” swiss domain, which fits in a small area.

  16. tikaro says:

    @#3, re, the most cumbersome possible goatse:

    This is my FAVORITE thing that I did with my own patch:
    1) Recorded a short video of my friends’ mom, saying “hi honey! is THIS your card?” and holding up the seven of hearts.
    2) Posted the video to YouTube, and linked to it from my p8tch.
    Okay, with setup over, I
    3) Asked my friend to pick a card, any card. They picked the seven of hearts (there are many ways to force a choice, starting with the least elegant but most effective method of purchasing a deck that is 100% seven-of-heartses; you can use your favorite method.)
    4) Triumphantly held up the two of clubs. “PRESTO! This is your card!”
    5) Acted extremely chagrined to be told that this is not their card.
    6) Trying to change the subject from my embarassment, show them my spiffy new p8tch
    7) They scan the QRcode with their iPhone, and up comes the YouTube video OF THEIR OWN MOMMA HOLDING UP THE SEVEN OF HEARTS

    That was worth EVERY MOMENT of the setup it took.

  17. nutate says:

    Yeah, I just dropped the $0.99 bones on QuickMark. My wallet is still hurting.

    I kinda wish I had it install when I was in Tokyo though.

    I imagine this will take off just slightly more than exchanging PGP (GPG) keys with people. The patch thing still seems weird tho. I don’t rock any article of clothing enough…

    oh wait:

    Perfect. Google images say there’s one dude with one on his arm. Nice.

    I sure as hell wouldn’t put in some shortened domain from some company that will not last as long as the tattoo, though.

    • bardfinn says:

      You can direct the shortened URL to redirect to an HCARD which in turn contains links to your bliggety blog, your professional portfolio has your email address, and

      (drum roll pls)

      your PGP public key!

  18. tikaro says:

    @phisrow you are absolutely 100% correct, both about my humility and charm, but also about the irony of taking an open format, like QR, and turning it back into a “report to the mothership” URL. Believe me, the irony is not lost on me!

    I completely agree with you that open formats are crucial. In this case, the server serves two purposes:
    1) The domain is short enough you can use a small QRcode (for those that don’t know, QRs can hold any amount of data; they just get bigger the more data they hold), and
    2) Since the URL is “recyclable”, you can use the same p8tch to point to your RSS feed in the morning, your LinkedIn account in the afternoon, and, um… your DeviantArt profile at night?

    You only have my affirmation that I’m not doing Anything Nefarious(tm) with the data, which you’d be completely right to treat cautiously. And by all means, we should encourage folks to get out there and make crafts with their OWN urls, using this open format!

  19. tikaro says:

    @nutate I 100% agree with you, re: a tattoo. In fact, in my FAQ, I directly plead with people: DO NOT GET MY SHORTENED URL TATTOOED ON YOUR BODY. :P This is a cottage-industry hobby-project sort of a thing, and there’s no WAY I want to commit to powering your pectoral tat for the next ninety years.

    Plus, the desire to maliciously rickroll (or Goat-roll, or Keyboard Cat-roll) your tramp stamp would be almost impossible to resist, from my sysadmin’s chair. Please — don’t make me have to fight that kind of temptation.

  20. cubicblackpig says:

    When I see one of these things knitted into a jumper, then I will be impressed.

    • tikaro says:

      Okay, cubicplackpig, PREPARE TO BE IMPRESSED:

      In addition to velcro-backed p8tches, I also make and sell needlepoint patterns, so you can stitch up a cunning little pillow with a redirectable barcode on it. This is COOLER than a jumper, because QRcodes _can_ be machine-knit, but no such technology exists for needlepoint and other hand embroidery yet!
      *beats chest* :)

  21. oisin says:

    Only available for shipping to USA, Canada and Japan? Stop teasing the other 6.226 x 10^9 of us, boingboing.

  22. spcfgt says:

    Can we stop replacing letters with numbers now please? It’s been like 10+ years of this crap.

  23. taj says:

    Tikaro, you are cracking me up!

  24. coaxial says:

    QR Codes are cool, but URL shorteners aren’t. They break URLs as soon as the site goes down. No thanks.

    • tikaro says:

      Good point, coaxial.

      Probably the best thing to do is to run your final target URL through an URL *lengthener* service first, like or

      Then, set your custom URL at to point to that carefully pre-LENGTHENED URL. Which, finally, points at your website.

      That way, things average out, you see, and you’re *totally protected* from single points of failure.

  25. sf says:

    I have a 8inch square QRCODE on the back of my LandRover Defender that links to a goatsx url. Not sure if I have caused any road accidents yet.

  26. benher says:

    The ‘inconvenience’ that people experience with QRcodes is likely because most non-Japanese makers don’t do much to make scanning them an integral part of the mobile device.

    On most Japanese devices it’s usually only a couple clicks away.

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