Giving meaning to every pixel in a QR code

My work locker is stuffed with candy. Actually, it’s overflowing with candy. I take breaks throughout the day, and stand by my locker snacking on all sorts of candy. It’s my attempt to eat less candy at my desk.

My locker at Chicago Tribune / Tribune Content Agency in One Prudential Plaza

Today, I rather enjoyed the quiet of the locker area. Our new workspaces at Tribune are an open floorplan. Everyone is surrounded by other workers. Standing in the hallway of lockers with nobody else in sight is relaxing.

While munching on snacksize Mr. Goodbars, I stare at the QR code on the bag.

I love QR codes. They are so quirky and weird. Little mysteries held within their bitmapped sequence of patterns. You can’t tell what the QR code says by looking at it. To uncover the meaning, you must have a special decoding device—aka a smartphone.

Today, I did not use my decoding device. Instead I stared at the code, looking at all the individual pixels.

Trying to decipher if there are any hidden images inside the code. Of course, there aren’t any hidden images inside. If there is anything to be interpreted visually in a QR code, it would be like interpreting the clouds of the sky. You would just be making up stories.

What if each pixel in a QR code held a story? I could make a webcomic where every single pixel is a panel. This particular QR code looked to be about 18×18 pixels. That’s 324 pixels. Whoa. That would be a lot of panels! Although in three corners are registration squares that are 7×7 pixels. Take those out, and you are left with 127 pixels. Ok, a LITTLE more manageable.

If each pixel was a panel, then each panel would be either black or white. The setting would be either night or day.

Just a beginning thought.

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4 years ago

Of course you well know that I see faces in places, including QR code

4 years ago
Reply to  Matt Maldre

They’re cartoon faces, but they’re faces

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