Meme Collision Produces 2D Code Stencils

Discuss

29 Responses to “Meme Collision Produces 2D Code Stencils”

  1. Suds says:

    It says “Hello World” (for those who can’t scan it)

  2. theawesomerobot says:

    Or you know, just have some stickers printed.

  3. Brainspore says:

    Wow, I was actually just considering a very similar QR-code stencil idea for a youth class I taught on graphic arts but I couldn’t find a cost-effective way to make the laser cut stencils. Anyone know a cheap laser-cutting service in the San Francisco Bay area, or a place that might offer free or discounted rates for an educational non-profit organization?

    • Anonymous says:

      Noisebridge is in SF and the equipment there may help you out.

    • Grrrrrrrr8 says:

      I work at a place that has a laser cutter and we like non-profits. Are you the same name on twitter?

      • Brainspore says:

        Yes I am, I look forward to hearing from you! (I just finished up the class I was teaching over the summer but we may have a similar class or workshop down the road.)

  4. oschene says:

    Also works in guerrilla origami installations.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/oschene/5829970927/

  5. ftrotter says:

    Hi,
    This laser-cutting method is really amazing, because it allows you to make many stencils quickly, and accurately. But laser cutters can be hard to find. You might be interested in the method that I created to do the same thing using just chicken wire and caulk to make the stencils: http://www.fredtrotter.com/2011/06/11/making-qr-code-stencils/

    This is slower, but dirt cheap.

    Fred Trotter

  6. CountZero says:

    “This is one of the few instances where a QR code is actually useful. Instead of their usual environment – slapped on ads and flyers when it would be simpler just to write out the URL or text”
    Simpler perhaps if you’re prepared to fish around for a pen and a bit of paper, or scribble said URL on your hand, hoping it won’t smudge or get washed off before you can get to a computer, or stand in a shop with a magazine or product in one hand and smartphone in the other, trying to tap the URL into an open web browser.
    On the other hand you can have a particular app like Redlaser, Optiscan, or Quickmark open, quickly scan the code and walk away, with the information available for perusal later. Having done the first thing numerous times I know which version I prefer. I use Redlaser a lot for keeping a record of books or CD’s I see that I might want to buy later on; I used it six times in one store yesterday to keep a record of books I’d not seen before that look interesting. The same is true of QR codes; I have that information available for later, and I don’t worry about losing a bit of paper or washing the info away.

  7. dr.hypercube says:

    “I’ve had a multi-year obsession with QR Codes…” You might be interested in my Mediated Toynbee QR Code project – the about page: http://mtoynbee.com/blog/?page_id=2 Enjoy (hopefully)!

  8. Bankara says:

    I have been thinking about something like this to make urban environments more interactive. Ever wander around a foreign city and see a cool building and wonder what the story behind it is? How cool would it be to walk up to it and discover a QR tile that links to its history in several different languages? Or how about a tour of a city where you are told only where the start is and then you have a tour / scavenger hunt for the places and QR codes that will lead you to the next place. There are so many possibilites for this kind of tech beyond just “hey somebody has an unlocked WiFi network over here!”

    On a practical note, yes stickers make sense. I have also been thinking of printing them out to fit on a 4×4 tile and then polyeurethaning them onto the surface and then epoxying that to whatever. Durable, easy to apply, hard to remove. Great for places where there is street art. Have a place specific flickr pool for a grafitti wall so that you can see the art as it changes and evolves over time.

    Other ideas?

    • Anonymous says:

      The Hippodrome of Constantinople has several QR_coded monuments, including the Obelisk of Thutmosis III (aka “Istanbul obelisk”) and Serpent Column.

      None of the QR codes work anymore, though. I don’t know it it was bad printing, damage or fading, but the “bit rot” is real… and oddly /physical/.

      wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hippodrome_of_Constantinople

      • penguinchris says:

        Yeah physical QR codes are often problematic – I’ve encountered several that couldn’t be decoded, even by taking a high resolution DSLR photo and trying to decode it later on a computer (after my smartphone couldn’t do it on the fly).

        There were some spraypaint stenciled QR codes on the ground at MakerFaire SF a couple months ago – I came across one about halfway through the first day and it was already unreadable (if it ever worked in the first place). I walked by a while later and there was another guy also obviously having trouble decoding it so it wasn’t just me :)

        And I’ve also come across quite a few that were printed on advertisements or on product boxes that couldn’t be read – sometimes they’re too small, and sometimes they just inexplicably don’t work.

        Also, I tried to decode this sample stencil in four different Android programs and none of them could do it.

  9. tboy says:

    OH GOD YES.

    YES. YESSSSSS.

    Wait, laser-cutter? Aww, man! Where am I gonna find that? :(

    • billstewart says:

      Where are you going to find a laser cutter? At Techshop, of course :-)

      The question I’d have about QR code stencils is whether QR codes are designed in a way that you can depend on them being one piece that stays together, as opposed to having disconnected islands that you can’t use in a stencil. I suppose you could get fancy and have thin strips anchoring the islands in place and hope spray paint fills in around them?

    • Max says:

      I believe the hobo-QR code for a free laser cutting service is something like a big square with some smaller squares in it. Should be fairly easy to recognise. ;-)

      Seriously, I kind of like this idea, as a geek, I don’t feel like putting up a sign outside my house saying “3d printer here” and getting brainless trolls asking me to do hours of 3D CAD for free and then print off whatever inane shite they think is funny/necessary .
      But another geek who has done his CAD and just needs someone to realise a spare part for his currently broken printer or other fun project, I would be happy to meet.
      Having a QR code outside my house would probably only be understood by the geeky types and not the general braindead passerby.
      And I can probably print a QR code out of smaller panels…

  10. jasoneppink says:

    This is one of the few instances where a QR code is actually useful. Instead of their usual environment – slapped on ads and flyers when it would be simpler just to write out the URL or text – in this case it’s actually valuable that the QR codes are creating a barrier for entry: disguising the intent from most passersby, but still available to anyone who takes the time to engage.

    The project is definitely clever, but the main roadblock for widespread adoption is simply that SSIDs come and go (and change) faster than a team of stencilers could proliferate the QR codes.

  11. Bankara says:

    I think too that the laser cutter is nice but overkill. As our space program wraps up its last mission I would like to point out that NASA spents tens of thousands of dollars creating a pressurized pen cartridge to write with in space. The Russian space program used a pencil. Think of Occam’s Razor here, the less moving parts and expense the better. AMIRITE?

    • kpkpkp says:

      regarding “pressurized pen cartridge”: YOUISWRONG

      Pencil leads are conductive and pens do not require sharpening. NASA spent $3 a piece purchasing the pens from a vendor. More here:
      http://www.snopes.com/business/genius/spacepen.asp

      • GlenBlank says:

        …not to mention that the wood in pencils is flammable in a pressurized pure-oxygen atmosphere.

        The real story turns the “stupid NASA” meme on its head – private industry invests the capital to create a useful pen for NASA without any government funding, sells ‘em to NASA for three bucks apiece, and makes a fortune selling them to the space-struck public.

        You can still buy them today, and they’re quite handy for times when you need to write upside-down, or on slick or glossy surfaces.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Google Goggles can’t read the QR code in that image up there… ‘sup with that?

  13. kpkpkp says:

    I like the idea of tagging with QRCodes, but think that one-off stencils are not the best way to do it, as they are subject to saturation, falling apart, etc. They are also limited to a single datagram and require specialized cutting equipment or a lot of patience with an Xacto.

    A better way would involve a personal projector and a pair of purpose specific spray cans:

    • Decide on your datagram to be encoded and prepare
    format it into a QRCode image (many sites will do
    this for free).
    • Set up your pocket projector someplace steady (tripod?)
    to project your QRCode onto the targeted surface,
    projecting in dim red light.
    • Spray can ONE is a red-light-insensitive photographic
    emulsion.
    • Coat the targeted surface with the emulsion
    (from spray can ONE).
    • Without moving the projector, change to projecting
    white light for a limited period of time (a couple
    seconds), then return to projecting dim red light
    • Apply Spray can TWO (The Fixer).

    Oh, and this would also work for photos, words, etc.

    Kickstarter project?

  14. neurolux says:

    If you use a projector, you can make an anamorphic QRCode that stretches down a sidewalk and up a building.

  15. Grrrrrrrr8 says:

    I like the system for automatically creating bridges to the islands in the stencil, but it could be better. The islands in the stencil above are only coming down from the top. This will work OK for a stencil cut our of hardboard, but it would be much better to have bridges on the bottom as well for a much sturdier piece.

  16. bardfinn says:

    … Stickers – ?

Leave a Reply