Gov 2.0 advocates have printed a run of QR (2D barcode) stickers they will stick at bus stops all over Washington DC today, allowing mobile phone users to quickly get up-to-the moment bus progress reports, post traffic status updates, and more. This augmentation of the physical world with real-time data from the ether strikes me as accessible and useful. The project was one of many ideas discussed at DCWeek this June and is being implemented by the Research and Development group in Office of the CTO, DC Government (on Twitter: OCTOLabs).
O'Reilly's Gov 2.0 correspondent Alex Howard shared a link to this photo on Twitter this morning. Smart phone users will use QR reading apps to snap a picture of the codes, then their phones will be shown relevant real-time information corresponding to the bus stop they are at. (That makes more sense to me than NYC's new QR codes on the back of garbage trucks, but hey - they point is, these things are growing more mainstream in the US.)
Update: The team behind these QR codes has updated us to let us know that the stickers are ready but won't actually be distributed for a few more days.
Here in my home town of Portland, Oregon, the ability to check "time-to-arrival" for buses by phone is much appreciated. Augmenting that kind of data with a richer experience, launched by QR code, sounds great. Santiago, Chile added similar QR codes to 4,000 of its bus stops this Summer.
"See" also this audio interview earlier this week with Bryan Sivak,
Chief Technology Officer at the Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO) in the District of Columbia.
Google Trends info via UK QR news blog 2d Code.