QR codes for BBC programmes and some other stuff

We’re on a bit of a roll at the moment with our work on /programmes, so quick on the heals of the work to integrate iPlayer and programme credits onto our episode pages I’m chuffed to announce another batch of new features: QR-Codes, schedules and um calls to inaction.

Torchwood episode page

QR-Codes, if you’ve not come across them before, are a bit like two-dimensional bar codes created by the Japanese company Denso-Wave. But unlike bar codes you can encode any string you fancy (up to 4,296 alphanumeric characters) into an image and this means you can convert a URL into a QR-Code.

You can then print QR-Codes on posters, t-shirts, scarfs, whatever. People can then decode them by taking a picture, using specific software installed on their mobile phone, to read and convert the code back to the URL – so they can easily visit the web site.

Anyway – every BBC programme now has a QR code. You can get it by adding …/qrcode to the end of the URL for any programme page. For example, this is the URL for Platoon:

	http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b007mcgw

And this is its QR-Code:

	http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b007mcgw/qrcode

QR Code

A more mainstream feature that’s also gone live today are schedule pages for some radio networks. For example:

	http://www.bbc.co.uk/asiannetwork/programmes/schedules

And because of the way the technology works we also get a bunch of new pages for free:

	http://www.bbc.co.uk/asiannetwork/programmes/genres/music

And finally we’re flagging when episodes are next due to be broadcast, when we don’t have any media and links to the iPlayer so you can download the video.

Links for 2008.01.15

» QR-Code enhanced scarf [via cookin’/relaxin]
Geeky clothing adverts for website. QR codes are ‘physical hyperlinks’ – take a photo of the matrix code with phone and visit the webpage.

» More info on those QR Code
Pictographic representaitons of URLs.

» QR-Code Generator | QR-Code
Get your own QR codes here.

» Jonathan Ive’s passion for simplicity and honest design is rooted in the work of Dieter Ram [gizmodo via blackbeltjones]
His passion for “simplicity” and “honest design” is at the core of Dieter Rams’ 10 principles for good design. Both designers shape their products around the function with no artificial design, keeping the design honest.

» Looking increasingly likely that the UK government will repeal the law against blasphemy [davblog]
“Following a debate the Justice Minister, said that the government had “every sympathy for the case for formal abolition” and that, subject to a “short and sharp” consultation with the Anglican church, they intended to table their own abolition amendment.