Can a mobile phone read a QR code created not digitally, but out of sand? This is a question that arose while communication “architects” Sinap Co. Ltd. were brainstorming new strategies for reaching customers in a world suffering increasingly from information overload. A QR code created by a natural substance, and one as fragile as sand, would make an impact, they thought. The question remained, would it actually be usable?
To find out, the Tokyo-based company launched the Sinap Summer 2009 Project, creating a human-scale QR code out of sand on a Shonan beach, about an hour away from the capital. The finished result, along with several “making-of” photos and a video, appear on the project website. To date, almost 400 readers have left comments regarding whether or not their mobiles could read the code; a cursory glance at the results shows that most phones could.
In addition to creating the sand QR code, Sinap is teaming up with the Nishihama Surf Lifesaving Club to promote beach cleaning efforts. According to Sinap, the efforts to break away from information noise pollution and to rid beaches of disposable lifestyle goods (plastic bags, foam trays…) are complementary endeavors.