IMAGINE pointing your mobile phone at a bar code and being taken direct to a website where you can instantly read the information you need.
That’s what EDDC has started offering residents who want to follow up planning site notices by using a new system called QR Codes, in an initiative proposed by its Planning Practice Manager. So now there’s an ‘app’ for that planning app-lication!
QR (short for Quick Response) codes are two-dimensional barcodes. If successful after a six-month trial, the Council will be looking at other applications for this clever example of new technology.
Using software that the Council already had, experts in EDDC’s Information and Communications Technology (ICT) team set up the new service, which is being rolled out first to assist in planning enquiries. Success will depend on how many “hits” the QR Code system receives.
East Devon is the first district in Devon to offer the public this facility, which enables anyone with most types of smartphone equipped with a barcode reading app to get online and check out the details of a planning application.
The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The information encoded may be text, a URL, or other data. It was first used to track parts in vehicle manufacturing but has since been adapted for many other functions and environments.
If you have a barcode scanning app on your smart phone, you can point the camera lens of your phone at the code, take a photo, and you can be linked straight to the web page that contains the information you need.
Councillor Ian Thomas, EDDC’s Cabinet Member for Corporate Services, said;
“This is one of a series of innovations we are intending to introduce as we challenge established practice and embrace the latest technologies to improve our service to customers.”
“The QR Code system has many other possible applications and, once the test is over, we will be looking to exploit as many of these as we can in the future to give our residents even better value for money. Watch this space!”.
Try the Code in this article…
Download a free QR-Code reader app from the Apple App Store or smartphone developer to your phone and simply scan the code on this page. “Hey presto”, the App’ will read the code, recognise it as the www.trinitymatters.co.uk website and take you straight to the site!
What other uses can you see?
Let us know and we will publish the best ideas online…