Memo to nerds of all varieties: you no longer need World of Warcraft to meet that special someone. Soon you’ll be able to scan that nice young lady on the street and read her Facebook page, or check out her WoW avatar, without actually having to speak to her. Thank a snazzy new piece of tech called “matrix codes.”
Known alternately as quick response (QR) codes or semacodes, this 2D version of a barcode is already used internationally. In Japan, matrix code marks buildings you can scan to obtain information about the business therein–or even read the Tweets of the people currently inside. In Germany, it’s being made into crop circles–or squares in this case–that can be scanned by Google Earth.
You’ve doubtless noticed the cute little 8-bit looking barcodes in magazines. You may already know that they link print material to some conveniently corresponding web content. You might even have the iPhone App that scans them and takes you directly to that Esquire video tutorial about skinny ties. But matrix code is about to get way up in your face, and possibly, onto your clothes.
A story on Singularity Hub, the epicenter of internet nerd news, suggests that people are starting to wear matrix code on their apparel–thus, linking their actual physical self to an online identity of their choice. Singularity suggests, “It may lead to a song, or the Web Site of your favorite charity, or an augmented reality image of your World of Warcraft avatar, or a 500-point online quiz that the user has to pass before getting your e-mail address.” Customized matrix code tees can already even be ordered on the Web (!?!).
A memo to everyone that doesn’t get an insta-boner at hearing the combination of the words “matrix” and “code,” this could totally work out for you too. Your matrix code, which you obviously should never address as such, could lead to your Twitter, or your band’s MySpace, or your new “Hipster [insert domestic animal]” Tumblr. Imagine the efficiency of trolling for babes in the summer: just scan her badass side-rib-area tattoo and find out if she’s cultured enough for you.