With the continued penetration of smartphones into the mainstream market, QR codes are becoming more of an option for designers to prompt interaction. The two-dimensional barcode can easily be generated from text, including a website link, and printed on materials in magazines and conferences. An artist in Paris found an unusual use for the black-and-white squares: to animate a tattoo.
Ballantine’s Scotch Whiskey is in the midst of a social campaign to highlight people who “leave an impression.” They are facilitating a Human API, streamed events where social media users can interact with the artist and influence the outcome. The video is shot from the point of view of the artist.
The big innovation here is that part of the artwork was a QR Code, which had to be drawn and “installed” perfectly to allow a smartphone to decode the boxes and look for the embedded website. Once there, a video played depicting the finished tattoo and an animated singer.
I’m not a tattoo guy, but the use of QR code — perhaps in combination with UV ink — is tempting. The flexibility of what is at the other end (web pages can easily be changed) would make for a great creative outlet, as well as a social object to get past the small talk at parties. Imagine getting enough QR codes to make people pieces in an ARG.