2D barcode turns up on cardboard brick

There are loads of places where you might expect to see a 2D barcode, but on the side of a brick? And it’s not a proper brick either,  it is a cardboard cut-out dreampt up by Austrian pacifist artist, Andreas Balogh. He came up with the idea as a way of protesting against the right-wing Austrian Party, Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ).

The 2D barcode can be read by the vast majority of cameraphones equipped with suitable barcode reading software. It seems to have been designed to work directly with UpCode‘s software but Techeye has successfully tried it with other clients such as the Neoreader from Neomedia.  Once the code is read, it will point the phone’s browser directly at a Facebook page – providing a chance to sign up in protest.

The brick stems from a previous incident where somebody decided to start a group on Facebook  which entitled “Can a soulless brick have more friends than Herr Strache?” [In German: – “Kann dieser seelenlose Ziegelstein mehr Freunde haben als H.C. Strache?”]  Heinz-Christian Strache, is head of the FPÖ, of course.

At the last count, the Group had some 158,000 plus fans – way beyond Herr Strache’s own personal following. Part of the group’s plans, however,  were to follow this up by leaving bricks outside the offices of the FPÖ. The catch was that the protest was intended to be entirely non-violent and leaving bricks around the streets of Austria jarred with this concept.

So a pacifist artist, Balogh, had the idea of creating a ‘pacifist brick. In effect, Balogh produced a colour template for building a brick out of paper or cardboard which you can print out from any computer and fold into a brick. The template can be found here.

As Balogh explains, “Some people had the idea to seize the opportunity and do some kind of a ‘Flashmob’ by laying down bricks in front of every FPÖ office. Since real bricks could easily cause serious damage and we all want this movement to be a peaceful movement, Bernhard and I created the official self made brick including space for a personal message and a link to the Facebook Group.”

It’s a neat idea and shows how the capabilities of 2D barcodes are being appreciated by young people, even if the world of advertising is proving very slow to catch on.