Tattoos and QR Codes

I don’t know if I could ever be this geeky: QR Codes Under Your Skin

This video shows a guy getting a tattoo of a flower with cog wheels (not the greatest tattoo in the first place in my opinion) and getting a QR code tattooed in the middle. The video is live, and people are commenting online during the procedure. At the end, the tattoo artist scans the guy’s tattoo QR code with his I phone and places the phone on the tattoo so that the animation on the phone matches its background (the actual tattoo).

It seems like quite a few people are incorporating these codes into their tattoos to add an extra element to the design. Visually, I think it’s pretty awful, but it’s kind of neat how they can incorporate technology (and in the guy’s case above, an animation) into what used to be just ink in your skin. Not to sound like my mother, but in thirty years from now, is that guy going to regret getting a QR code tattooed on his chest, especially when marketing seems like it will be moving towards near field communication. QR Codes Under Your Skin

I’m wondering if people are going to use QR code tattoos for personal marketing, like how politicians send you mail with their QR code on the front which links to their Facebook or their webpage. People could have a QR code tattooed on their body that people could scan when they meet them. It kind of reminds me of the movie Idiocracy, when everyone has to get a tattoo to identify themselves. So this is probably way too futuristic to happen anytime soon.

They have QR code buttons and temporary tattoos on this site: Barcode Art

You can have your customized QR code made into either a button or a temporary tattoo.

This guy is really into barcode tattoos: Barcode Tattoo Guide

One this site he talks about how a lot of the barcode tattoos don’t actually scan. Could you imagine seriously wanting a QR code tattoo (I can’t), and then getting it done and not having it scan correctly? I guess you would have to get the tattoo on a certain part of your body too, since with time a tattoo can age with your skin. The writer says that it is best to get it on placed on a person’s back or shoulders, where the ink will not expand as much, allowing for the code to still be scanned correctly. In that case, it would not be easily scannable by everyone. I’m thinking if people wanted to link it to information about themselves that could be easily scanned they would need it on their wrists or hand, and it seems like that the code may not work over time as the skin changes.

I think in the end, these types of tattoos are going to end up looking just as bad as those Asian character tattoos and tribal tattoos that a ton of people used to get, unless they actually get a chance to take off as a personal marketing technique. In that case, I’d rather just hand out business cards with my customized QR code on it then to get one imprinted in my skin that might not actually scan right in five years.