Here’s an update on a story we covered last year, about a Romanian company developing a way to display your e-books with digital bookshelf wallpaper. Web Urbanist has some great pictures of the Bucharest train station and its dramatic new wallpaper display listing hundreds of books with QR codes linking each to an on-line e-book store.
I’m surprised that this idea isn’t seeing wider use by now. Given the ubiquity of smartphones and tablets with cameras, this could be a great way for both libraries and bookstores to bring their digital catalogs into the real world. Why bother with the added expense of putting in and maintaining physical vending machines to lend physical library books when you could put up an e-book catalog with wallpaper for just the cost of printing?
A QR code is basically just a URL, a bookmark given physical form. The great thing about it is that it could link to systems that are already in place. Many public libraries already have e-book checkout via their web sites, for example. As for bookstores, why not give that lackluster sales partnership with Kobo a kick by actually putting up a display of digital books that people could actually browse the same way they could browse the physical shelves?
It wouldn’t even necessarily have to be permanent wallpaper. Print it on something like contact paper that you could change out every month to highlight a new selection of your content. Put it up in formerly-wasted space, like entrance hallways or even your bathrooms. Give people something interesting to look at on the inside of toilet stall doors, or while they’re standing at the urinal. Why not?
It would certainly be a more useful thing to do with QR codes than printing them on dice.