If you know me, you know I am pretty serious about taking photos and preserving our family history. For years we have also been taking video with our cameras and phones, but with really no good way to archive and share them. We have just continued to record things in the hope that video editing software would become more affordable, and waiting to see how technology would advance.
Then yesterday, as I was reading a Project Life blog post, one of the Creative Team Members, Jennifer Woodbury, shared about printing out QR codes and including them in her layouts. The codes, which are linked to a website URL, are scanned using a barcode scanner on a smart phone. The user is then taken to the web page (ie You Tube) and the corresponding video is played on the phone.
I flipped out over this, it is ALMOST exactly what I have been waiting for. Check out the layout below. We have 2 not so great quality photos of Katie singing in a church service when she was 4 years old. I remember this day- she was quite exuberant in her singing. Her cousin Lilly- not so much. A fun memory. But check it out- you can scan the QR code and totally relive the moment complete with singing and a little dancing
Click on photos to enlarge
And here is one more, (a 2 page layout) showcasing the penguins playing at the St Louis Zoo
The great thing about this for me as a digital scrapbooker is that I can just include the QR code directly in my layout, so no extra printing is necessary.
But remember when I said this was ALMOST what I was looking for? Well there are 2 small problems, one which I was able to fix, the other which at this point in time at least, will cost money.
Hosting your video on a website such as You Tube requires you to set your preferences as to who can view your videos. On You Tube, you have the option to set your videos to Private, but that setting will not work with the QR codes on the layouts. Thankfully, all your videos do not have to be public though, the Unlisted option (which allows only those who have the direct link to see your videos) works fine. By the way, this is a great option for sharing your videos on Facebook as well.
While totally amazing, the QR codes are kind of ugly, lol. So I set out to find another option. The first I found, has been used in the digital photography world for several years. It is called Digimarc, and they began as a digital watermarking service. Pro photogs use it to protect their copyright in print and proper usage online. Digimarc has since expanded to provide “invisible QR codes” that allow users to scan printed content to connect to expanded digital media (think magazines). Exactly what I need for my layouts right? Currently this is a paid subscription service, but who knows where this technology will go, and in a few short years there may be a free option available. Another subscription service is called Moodstocks, I am looking into the pricing for their service.
Until then, I will use a free QR code generator, like Kaywa. I tried a different one, but Kaywa seemed to create the cleanest, most easily scanned code.
***A scanning tip for you- scanners seem to work best in landscape mode.****
Because I know the speed at which technology is advancing, I am keeping multiple copies of my layouts with QR codes on them. While I am pretty confident that You Tube will be around for a while, I am also confident that I will not always want scrapbook layouts with ugly QR codes on them. So I am keeping them editable, so they can advance with technology.
I am pretty excited about this new way to preserve our memories. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments about my multi media layouts.