With over 2 million visitors flocking in every year, Brazil's second largest city, Rio de Janeiro is already the most popular tourist destination in the Southern Hemisphere. Now, with the city hosting the final game of the 2014 World Soccer and the 2016 Summer Olympics, things can only get worse. While most cities prepare for events like this by adding more hotel rooms or police force, Rio is etching bar codes into the city's iconic black and white mosaic sidewalks and, it's not because they are trying to sell them to the tourists either!
Instead, the innovative two-dimensional bar or QR codes are meant to relieve the biggest challenge faced by visitors in a new country - Finding their way around and discovering all the unique things the city has to offer.
All the visitor has to do is download a special app onto their smart phone and use it to scan a bar code whenever they spot one on the sidewalk. This will immediately open up a detailed map of the area along with points of interest - Things that maybe only the locals would know about. In order to make it accessible to as many people as possible, the information is available in three languages - Portuguese, English and Spanish.
The officials who began installing the first bar codes on Friday, January 25th are initially planning to tag 30 areas of interest, ranging from the most beautiful beaches to historic sites and even, places with vistas. If successful and we would be stunned if they are not, the QR codes will most likely start to appear in all kinds of locations, making visiting the city not just easier, but even more fun, than it currently is.
Resources: telegraph.co,uk, dailymail.co.uk