Tourism to benefit from technology

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STONEHAVEN could be set to have tourism technology which equals that of New York.

Alan Craig, from Mackie Academies technical department, attended last weeks Community Council meeting to present to the Community Council his plan for QR enabling Stonehaven.

If you are wondering what QR enabling means, do not worry as many of the Community Council were as-well however, after Alan’s presentation, none of the Community Council were left in any doubt that QR is a piece of technology not to be missed.

QR stands for Quick response and is a two dimensional bar code. You may have seen them on advertising posters or dvds. What they do is provide a link to some information which can be anything from a web-site to a video.

If you have a smart-phone you can use it to scan the code, which allows you to then access the information.

After explaining to the meeting what a QR code is, he then explained to them how they can be used to enhance Stonehaven and it’s surrounding areas experience.

He explained that many places including New York and Paris have QR codes placed to enhance visitors experiences.

Alan’s proposal was to place QR codes on a variety of different buildings and points of interest in the area so that those visiting them can simply scan the code and find out information.

Information could then be delivered in written form or a recorded message, and would be available in a variety of languages.

Currently, Alan’s first year classes at Mackie Academy are researching a number of different locations in the area, and are writing the scripts to develop QR codes around the town.

They have already had a very successful pilot scheme at Dunnottar woods where they set out a number of QR codes in the woods which had information about the trees on them. This ran for a week and was very successful.

Twenty pupils are now working in two groups to research Dunnottar woods and Stonehaven town. They are working on this with adults in the community, drawing on their knowledge of the area.

Within the School this is a cross departmental project with a number of departments being involved including english, languages and drama.

However Alan wanted to make it clear that this is not just a MAckie Academy project he said: “Although running in Mackie this is not a Mackie centred project, this is a community project which Mackie is part of.”

Alan presented the idea of QR enabling Stonehaven to the Community Council, who immediately saw the potential in being able to reach out to local people and tourists in this way.

One community Councillor described it as an “absolutely wonderful idea” which had “no losers.”

A working group has been established for the project which now hopes to work out financing and run a pilot scheme, which they would look to expand in the future.

Because of how QR codes work, the scope of what can be done is endless.

The Tolbooth museum, Dunnottar Castle, the town hall and a heritage trail are just a small selection of places where QR codes could be put to good use.

Alan is interested to hear any ideas.

If you have suggestions or are a business and wish to explore how a QR code could benefit you, send an email to: qrcodes@stonehavenandthemearns.org.