When surf fans arrived at the beach in Biarritz for the Roxy Pro Women’s World Surfing Championships this past July, they found more than just ‘sweet’ waves. Event sponsor partner, Orange distributed ‘RFID wristbands’ that enabled wearers to interact at special terminals located around the event site.
People were able to connect the wristbands to their Facebook accounts allowing them to win free gifts or take photos which were then posted ‘automagically’ to their walls. For every 100 Likes (or check-ins) one surfing lesson was donated to Surf Insertion, a program that provides the surfing experience to rural and urban youth in France.
Let this be a lesson to the people that tell you QR codes are the wave of the future. This is an example of creating an easy experience connecting mobile (in this case not their phone) without burdening users with app downloads and awkwardness of using your camera phone in a public space. There will be a variety of technologies available to connect offline to online, choosing the right one will be dependent on a careful understanding the environment and audience.