Following the example set by some cities in Florida and California, the town of Richland Hills, Texas, has begun using QR codes as a way to distribute information to residents. New stop-sign shaped signs are showing up around the city, each affixed with a QR code. The signs are not meant to direct traffic in any way, and city officials have warned against scanning the codes whilst driving. The codes do contain information about the city and will be used in the future to provide details to residents in case of an emergency.
City officials launched the QR initiative as an experiment to see whether the codes perform well in their given task. QR codes are widely used in the marketing world and have become famous for their ability to connect with consumers. Richland Hills officials hope to mimic the success of the codes in marketing, but will have to raise awareness of the codes amongst residents.
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If the codes prove popular with residents, the city has plans to expand its use of the barcodes. For now, city officials are focused on getting people to download barcode scanning applications for their smart phones. Without these apps, residents will not be able to scan the QR codes that are situated throughout the city. There are tentative plans to have the city’s police department adopt the codes, but the technology is still relatively new and officials have yet to grow comfortable with its use.