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Scan Alert is a service

And not a statement. You brochure and folder stands all over the place, in hotel lobbies, airports, restaurants, attraction parks and more. These are often serviced by companies specialized in distributing and keeping these stands well stocked, or are initiatives of companies themselves.

One of the main concernes is making sure the folders are always in stock. This can be done by asking the patron of the hotel or restaurant to inform you when the brochures are finished, or regulary visiting the establishments to check on and stock up on the folders and brochures. The second option is the most trust worthy but demands resources and time.

Immagine if a folder could inform you it needs to be restocked. Along comes the QR code Scan Alert.

By placing a QR code on the container area where the brochures or folders are placed in, whne the last folder is taken, it will expose the QR code with a request to scan it to obtain more information about the folder that is now out of stock.

QR Code Scan Alert Scan Alert QR Code
Folder stand stocked with brochures Folder stand with brochure out of stock

 The QR Code Scan Alert

Has a dual function. It provides the person scanning it with information about the brochure or folder that is not available and also informs the brochure owner that his/her brochures need to be restocked at a particular location. This is another smart way QR codes can be used to provide a service that saves time and money.


Posted by: jeroen Steeman
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Categories: Eco QR codes | QR Code Use | QR Codes
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QR codes as a service in public bus transport

Sounds great, and the opportunities are really big, but let's see  how QR codes are implemented in public bus transport in the Eindhoven area in the Netherlands as service to clients.

QR code on cover of brochure
One of the many bus transport companies in the Netherlands that is using (a) QR code(s) is 'Connexxion' so lets have a look at how they use QR codes today. Only a PDF on line brochure with a QR code on the cover was found, this is the starting point. First observation...QR code has no 'quite zone' and was an incredible challenge for the i-nigma reader that was used to scan.
Origional bad QR codeOriginal QR Image
Fixed QR codeFixed QR Image
Which QR code does your scanner prefer?

What is behind the QR code?

Scanning it with the Nokia N95 the results are not what was anticipated or expected.

QR Code result Nokia N95

Site as seen on browser

Looking at the results it seems mobile and handheld devices are both treated as normal browsers making it difficult or impossible to navigate with a mobile device.. QR codes are for mobile devices, not desktop computers!


QR Codes for value added public transport services


  • Public transport companies have problems maintaining their services on time in bad to extreme weather conditions
  • People do not want to be outside waiting for a bus when the weather is bad or extreme.

Current situation

As example some images (yes good weather, spring in fact) of bus stops in Eindhoven where two privatized bus companies operate 'Hermes' and 'Arriva'  and both appear not to be using QR code technology at present. The reason you can tell it is Eindhoven is because this is the technology capital of the Netherlands, and the bus stops here have LCD panels telling people how long it is going to take for the next bus to arrive at the stop. Pretty smart.

Bus stop in Eindhoven

Bus stop in Eindhoven

Bus stop with LCD display

Bus stop information panel

The LCD panels at the bus stops inform people about when the next bus should arrive at that stop. They are not always functioning (broken or vandalized) and are difficult to read in the dark. You must physically go to the bus stop to read the panel which in times of poor weather when most delays occur is not really an ideal situation. Imagine if you could have that information panel on your smart-phone or mobile device, then you would not need to go the bus stop at all to know when the next bus is due.

QR code solution

Because it is clear that the bus company knows exactly where each bus is at any time (GPS), they are able to report this information to the panels at the bus stops. If they used this same technology and made a QR code for each bus stop, then people using the bus stop can scan and store the code. A mobile website then identifies the unique QR code and can report when the next bus will be at that stop.

normal bus stopNormal bus stop
Bus stop QR code serviceBus stop QR code service

This allows public bus transport users who know exactly how long it will take them to get to the bus stop to stay in the comfort of their home or business until appropriate to go to the stop. Instead of going out in foul weather to be confronted by a display that then informs them they will have to wait at least another XX minutes.

Value Added Bus Transport Service Working Model

All the technology needed to provide this service is available today. This QR code solution is more cost effective than LCD panels in investment and maintenance, is more vandal proof and provides more service of real value to clients. Considering the amount of smart-phones in use today it seems a very viable solution for public bus transport companies.

A live simulation to track your bus route(s) from anywhere.

I urge public transport companies who have not yet looked into the use of QR codes as a value added customer service to do so. The technology is readily available and the cost of implementation and maintenance is fractional compared to alternatives.


Posted by: jeroen Steeman
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Categories: QR Code Use | QR Codes
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Eco-nomic QR Codes

Eco Friendly QR Code

Newspapers could save tons of paper, ink, energy and time as well as provide a more handy smaller format for reading on the bus or in the train by putting only the main items in print and linking to the full online publication via a QR code.

Just think of the benefits, less paper to make dirty equals faster production times (deadlines), equals more time for journalists to get their stories in before production starts. In short it conserves paper, ink, solvents, energy, time and produces more time and convenience and saves big money. Example: why have 6 pages full of sports information in a newspaper if you're a computer geek and not interested in sport, I really don't need or want it. Just pop the snazzy commentary and action shots behind a QR code I say!

An example of who is making work of using QR codes in a eco-nomic and eco friendly way is CEMR (Council of European Municipalities and Regions) more information on how this organization is saving tons of paper, energy and adding to less CO2 emisions can be found in their article: Smart Cards: put CEMR in your pocket!


Posted by: jeroen Steeman
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