The city of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil is mixing tradition with technology by providing tourist information about the city using embedded bar codes on the black and white mosaic sidewalks that are a symbol of the city.
The first of the two-dimensional bar codes, or QR codes as they are known, were installed on Friday at Arpoador, a large boulder that rises at the end of the Ipanema beach. The image was made with the same black and white stones that decorate the sidewalks around the town with mosaics of waves, fish and abstract images.
The launch attracted many onlookers who downloaded the application to their smart phones or tablets and photographed the icon. The app reads the codes and redirects the user to a website that gives information in English, Spanish and Portuguese and also a map of the area.
The city is planning to install 30 of these QR codes at beaches, vistas and historic sites so that Rio’s approximately 2 million visitors can learn about the city as they walk around.