QR codes broaden the experience from California State Fair exhibits

California State Fair

California State Fair

Visitors with smartphones can now get more out of what they see and learn.

The California State Fair this year will be using QR codes to give guests the ability to use their smartphones to enhance the experience provided by the various exhibits.

The barcodes will be located in many different places where they can be easily scanned.

The QR codes can be found next to caged birds, near displays of herbs, and above different types of fish displays, for example. By scanning them, the mobile device user is redirected to a website that will provide them with additional information.

Larger QR codes are also hanging near the State Fair entrance from palm trees.

They are complemented by a line that says “click here to see what’s around you”. By scanning the entrance barcodes, it provides the user with a type of personalized map that shows them where they are and what else is available in that location.

As the visitor to the fair continues to move about, more QR codes will be discovered near many of the exhibits, such as at The Farm, where there is a barcode for virtually every type of crop, including zephyr squash, Sudan grass, Japanese cucumber, and alfalfa. Similarly, the floriculture exhibit has options for sugar cane, cocoa bean, and vanilla, among other plants.

According to the utility shop supervisor from Cal Expo at the California State Fair, Nancy Koch, “This is the first time we’ve had them at The Farm.” That said, Koch has estimated that she printed out about 60 codes for the displays.

Many other of the fair exhibit signs also feature QR codes feature aquaponics and aquaculture, as well as the Birds in Paradise segment. Koch said that the barcodes have been very popular, as she has seen them in use virtually everywhere she’s gone at the festival. It was this type of popularity that she’d already been seeing in smartphone use that made her want them at the festival.

Though she and Gabriel Cervantes – the Cal Expo paint shop supervisor – had never done this type of installation before, Cervantes said that “I just Googled it” and they were able find the information they needed to create the QR codes and learn how to link them to the appropriate websites.

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