Rio de Janeiro‘s streets have been embedded with Quick Response (QR) codes, a type of bar code you can scan with your smartphone, in a rising trend to link technology and tourism.
The QR codes are sprinkled around the city’s most historic sites. They can be read in Portuguese, Spanish or English, and provide a map of the area. The map even tells you where you currently are in relation to the rest of the city. Rio de Janeiro’s two million visitors are taking full advantage of the codes, and the city is proud to aid tourists in a silent, eco-friendly, and non-intrusive way.
The use of QR codes as a tool for navigation is relatively new, but it is a quickly rising trend, popping up all over the world, including in the US, France, Belgium, well, the list goes on and on.
The first city to take advantage of QR codes to aid tourists navigating through historic areas was the city of Lisbon, Portugal. Additionally, the city that uses the most QR codes is Monmouth, United Kingdom. Monmouth even has its own Wikipedia page devoted to its prominent use of QR codes in its cities.
This is exciting news for tourists, and as the use of QR codes begins to spread to other cities the world will become more understandable and more easily navigable. This might even serve as an additional bridge to break the barriers of language and culture, and bring people closer together.