QR codes bring Chanukah blessings right to your menorah2011-12-21
I had the privilege last week of attending the biennial of the Union for Reform Judaism in Washington, D.C.. While there, I met David Gerber, a rabbinical student at the Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion. For his graduate project, Gerber has launched The QR Project, an effort to bring meaningful content to smartphones.
We chatted outside the plenary hall about the irrevocable shift to mobile and the need for any institution—corporate, charitable, religious, whatever—to be ready to accommodate their stakeholders as rely more and more on their phones for online content. He gave me a couple samples of what he has in mind. One is a tent card designed to stand next to your menorah. Don’t remember the blessings for lighting the Chanukah candles? The code is there, taking you to a YouTube video that features the audio of the blessing, the Hebrew and the English transliteration. Other codes reveal different content each of what Gerber calls the eight QRazy nights.
Sure, you could sit at your computer and get the same content from any number of sites. But odds are your menorah is not sitting beside your monitor. Your phone, however, may well be in your pocket.
There’s also a bookmark on which are printed codes for each of the prayers at a typical Shabbat service. The audio player delivers the prayers to help you learn them during your down time.
I recorded a brief demo of both of these smart uses of QR codes:
As I mention in the video, the point here isn’t to get all religious on you, but to show that QR codes can have applications just about anywhere. The law of mobility suggests that the value of something increases when you can take advantage of it anywhere, a notion certainly borne out in these examples.