Texas Firm Takes QR Codes To Rooftops

As smart phones like the Apple iPhone and Android-based phones gain in popularity, the availability of barcode scanning apps has driven the adoption of QR Codes, two dimensional barcodes which can be used to directly connect smartphone users with web sites and information. QR codes are now being printed on magazine advertisements, billboards, newspaper ads, business cards, and many other areas to more dierctly link consumers with website information. However, a Texas company has found a new way to take advantage of QR codes: overlaying QR codes onto actual, physical rooftops of companies, so that their QR codes can be seen from space--and more importantly, from online mapping services like Google Earth and Google Maps.

According to Austin-based Phillips & Company, it has launched a new service called Blue Marble, which will help businesses overlay a dynamic QR code onto their own rooftop. The Texas public relations and business development firm said the use of QR codes on rooftops will allow businesses, cities, malls, schools, churches and others to allow mobile phone users to scan and access information about those locations. Blue Marble said it will charge $8,500, plus a recurring $200 support fee to help businesses place those QR codes, depending on a schedule of when satellite images will be updated in those locations; the firm said it will cost $49,500 more to get those images into satellite maps if those images are not scheduled to be updated by mapping firms. The firm did not detail how long it will take those QR coded buildings to show up in Google Maps and other satellite images, a schedule which is generally driven by Google and its satellite imaging providers, and sometimes which takes years to show up.