RFID & QR Codes: Improving Consumer Experiences, One Scan at a Time

While we often discuss retail stores implementing RFID for item-level tracking, it’s rare that we see an RFID solution that also involves QR codes. I recently came across an article from our partner, Zebra Technologies, that discussed how both of the technologies were used in order to create an interactive shopping experience.

Oxfam, a second-hand store in the UK, recently launched RememberME, a collaborative project between themselves and TOTeM (Tales of Things and Electronic Memory). The project involved an Oxfam store in Manchester that asked those who donated goods to attach stories to them via RFID tags and QR codes.

Stories were collected by creating audio clips about an object that were then linked to RFID tags and QR codes. The items were then added to the shop as a part of an in-store exhibition. Then, store visitors used their personal smart phones, or in-store RFID readers, to listen to the stories through the shop’s speakers. They were then invited to purchase the objects based on the history. Since the items all have stories behind them, it would defiantly appeal to consumers who seek the authenticity of vintage goods, etc.

In addition to this project, TOTeM offers a free iPhone app that gives purchasers the ability to access attached stories at any time, and can also be used to scan, comment and add locations to other objects. In addition, users can also tag their own items at the TOTeM website, which can then be linked to a video, audio, or text, all via printable QR code tags.

While the project at Oxfam is unique, if the technology sounds familiar to you, you may be thinking of Stickybits, a similar app that allows users to attach stories to barcodes via 1D barcodes. To see a demonstration of how the Oxfam project worked, check out the below vide:

If you’ve used Stickybits, TOTeM, or a similar barcode story-telling app, let us know about your experience by commenting here, Facebook, or Twitter.