QR codes used as research tool by University of Lausanne

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tiny qr codesResearchers use QR codes to study ants

QR codes are not only for marketing; they can also be used as a valuable research tool. QR codes were features as a major part of a new study from the University of Lausanne in Switzerland. The study involved ants, and researchers used QR codes to track their movements and analyze their behavior. The study involved tagging an entire colony of ants with QR codes, each unique to the ant carrying it.

QR codes are more than marketing tools

QR codes are most commonly seen in the world of marketing. This is where the codes shine as they excel as information distribution and consumer engagement tools. QR codes have helped advertisers around the world find common ground with mobile consumers, many of whom are not likely to participate in traditional marketing campaigns simply because their mobile devices are so much more interesting. Over the past few years, QR codes have proven themselves valuable to advertisers, but their uses do not exist solely in the marketing realm.

Study finds that ant colonies are similar to corporate companies

Using QR codes, researchers recorded more than 2.4 billion readings from the colony of ants, representing more than 9.4 million interactions between the ants. The study revealed previously unknown information about the world of ants, one that seems very similar to a corporate environment. The study shows that approximate 40% of the worker population in the colony takes care of the queen and its offspring, while 30% of the ants are responsible for cleaning the colony. Another 30% is purposed with the gathering of food for the entire colony. The most striking discovery of the study, however, is that ants do not carry the same position for their entire life and many move to “high rank” positions as though they were promoted.

QR codes could provide benefits to other fields of research

QR codes have helped researchers better understand the lives of ants and the study could pave the way for how these codes could be used in other fields of research. Tags are often used on animals to track their movements in the wilderness, but QR codes may soon be an effective alternative, if researchers can find a simple way to keep these codes in place.

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