Wednesday, August 23, 2006

QR-Codes for personal identity

In a comment to my post on the Identity Card Concept Project, Roger brought to my attention an application of QR-codes for identity.

Currently, QR-codes are typically used to bridge between the real-world and the digital-world, e.g. a user will use a reader in their phone to scan a paper flyer's QR-code with an embedded discount coupon. They can then use that coupon for an electronic purchase. The QR-code prevents them from having to type in some ugly URL printed on the flyer.

A similar application for identity would have a QR-code printed on my business or name card. The QR-code would facilitate the extraction of the identity into digital form without typing, like OCR but with capacity beyond the text actually printed on the card.

Kaywa's identity application of QR-codes, as shown at Roger's identity page, is interesting as the QR-code is displayed on the screen and not on a paper card (although it still could be). Rather than scanning a business card, your potential contact would use their phone scanner to scan the code from either their screen (while reading your blog etc) or your phone (when face-to-face). Scanning the QR-code bridges the "air gap" between two digital channels in a way that microformats etc can't do (but Infrared can, so perhaps an advantage of the QR-code scanning model is the improved privacy from not broadcasting?).

AFAICT, Japan is leading the way with respect to new uses of QR-codes. I know I've seen some very interesting applications for identity on my visits back to the NTT Mothership.

Extra points for decoding this.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Kim Cameron is an Identity God