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QR Codes, Gangnam Style


PSY has made Gangnam known to the world. Gangnam is home to more than 527,000 South Koreans and is one of the most populated districts in the country. The district is one of the most affluent in Korea, with a lifestyle that is comparable to Beverly Hills. It has several shopping and entertainment attractions.

Tourists visiting Gangnam nowadays are in for a treat as QR codes have been placed all around the district. These QR codes give out information about the attractions to be seen in the area.

A total of eight faux marble QR codes have been placed on sidewalks in Gangnam district. When scanned, these QR codes take people to a mobile optimized site that is available in three languages: Chinese, Japanese and English. It details the various restaurants, cafes and shopping centers in the area. It also has maps and guides.

The content largely comes from printed travel brochures for the area. For example, the brochures for Garosu-gil, Gangnam District and the COEX shopping mall are used for the mobile site. Looking at the information available for the COEX Mall, for instance, tells us that it is the largest underground mall in the whole of Asia. But what makes these QR codes even more useful is they also detail the establishment found nearby. For instance, you go to the Lake food court and select one of the sixteen restaurants in the area. Or you could also go to the event area to catch a free show. Or you can go to Bandi and Luni’s bookstore if you want to find English books that deal with Korean history and culture. The QR codes also tell you where to rent baby strollers and whether a particular area is handicapped friendly.

In short, these QR codes act like your tour guides in the area.

We do wonder, however, if these QR codes also have a link to the immensely popular viral video that introduced their area to the rest of the world. If so, that would make a great way to further increase the more than 1 billion views that the video already has.

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