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Thursday, April 12, 2012

What's The Idea?

The easy part is done: code got written, various technical barriers were overcome, a prototype was built, and the proof-of-concept was proven.

Now the hard part: figuring out if the concept is even a good idea or not. Of course, _I_ think it's a good idea, but that doesn't always translate into the real world :)

So what's the idea? I want to solve a problem that I run into at large conferences. There are so many talks I attend, and so many new people I meet that I tend to lose track of it all. I want an easy way to track the people I meet and the talks I attend. As always it needs to be dead simple to use, and fun!

So I created a platform where each user attending a conference (if they opt-in of course) has a unique QR tag.

The QR tag is printed on a sticker and attached to their normal name tag. Then at the conference you make a "connection" with another attendee when you scan their tag.
And to make it fun, various social networking games can be layered on top. The easiest would be to award points for each connection. The person with the most points at the end of the conference wins. No more standing around with a drink in my hand wondering who to talk to.

And QR tags aren't only for conference attendees. Everything at the conference can be QR tagged. So for example, as you walk through a conference you can scan a poster and everything that the author has offered to share will be linked to your account (additional notes, power point, source code, etc). The same would apply to talks, hands-on-workshops, etc.

The only prerequisites are a smartphone with any (free) QR code reader, and access to the internet (3G, 4G, Wifi, etc).



  1. Finally a practical use for the QR tag! This would motivate me to finally scan one.


  2. Love this idea! Wish I was going to the conference!

    1. Thanks Jonathan. Unfortunately I only thought of it a few days ago. Not in time for SAS Global Forum this year. But there's a lot of regional conferences coming up. Maybe I can get some traction there?

  3. I was at SGF 2012 and had same exact idea. I was talking to a friend in the SAS demo area where the booths had the scanning device and I told my friend that instead of the old barcode if the they had a QR tag printed on our badges then we wouldnt need business cards. You should definitely promote this. Great Idea.

  4. Thanks K_Chandy! That is exactly the idea!

    I also really like how it could be used for posters/talks/etc. You just scan the QR code and all the supporting code, power point, additional notes, author's info, etc could be emailed to you.

    I am trying to promote the idea. It certainly helps to get support from other SAS conference attendees! :)