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Winthrop: TraffiQR for tourism

Photo Credit: ESTACADA NEWS PHOTO: ISABEL GAUTSCHI - Jordan Winthrop demonstrates how to use this Estacada Area Chamber of Commerce QR code.When one thinks of tech hubs, Estacada might not be the first place that comes to mind.

But local computer whiz Jordan Winthrop has developed a popular app that he hopes will be used to make Estacada more high-tech.

Back in 2011, Winthrop created TraffiQR, a free QR code generator.

QR codes are kind of like barcodes. When scanned with a smartphone, QR codes will send the user to a specified online destination, so long as the phone has a QR code reader.

Most new smart phones, Winthrop explained, come programmed with QR code readers.

The Estacada Area Chamber of Commerce already has wooden coins with a QR code that send users to a “Visit Estacada” promotional video when they are scanned with a smartphone.

As of Aug. 28, the TraffiQR app had 13,937 users.

However, most of those users seem to be from outside the U.S.

Winthrop said TraffiQR is most popular in the European Union and Australia.

But American companies are putting the application to creative use.

Winthrop gave an example of a TraffiQR customer who creatively utilizes QR codes: the New Jersey restaurant Publick House uses the codes to let customers view the menu while waiting for a table or hanging out in the bar.

“Educational institutions are using TraffiQR for many things including tracking and dishing out quizzes to students that are taken through tablets and bringing up educational games for children to play on mobile devices,” Winthrop wrote in an email.

What makes TraffiQR a stand-out among other apps, Winthrop said, is that it can send the user to new locations from what was originally programmed.

This feature enables businesses to reuse marketing material with old QR codes.

Winthrop said this has especially been an asset for his realtor customers.

When people scan the QR code on a sign for a TraffiQR realtor customer, they are directed to the newest listing and interior photos of the house the sign is placed in front of.

Realtor signs can then be recycled and installed in front of different houses, directing QR code users to the current listing.

Winthrop believes that TraffiQR could be used to promote tourism in Estacada as well.

He would like to use the application to enhance the town’s public art with an interactive mural tour.

“It would combine a few different technologies I work with,” Winthrop said. “First I would create a responsive app like website with geo fence services to locate users via GPS and then use QR Codes and New NFC Tags that are programmed to bring up artist videos, historic images and educational information about the mural, statue or other art that you are standing in front of.

“The user will be able to see a lot of fun information and then get walking, biking or driving directions to the next location on the mobile tour,” he continued. “The geo fence technology is used to make sure that people are near the art to get the information to come up. That way, they don’t just get to see it all from home and it could create more tourism. It is basically a self-guided tour with your phone as the guide! With a little support, this project could easily become a reality!”

Winthrop serves on the board of directors of the Estacada Area Chamber of Commerce and the Estacada Development Association.

He is the owner Winthrop Web Services and NW Hi-Tech Solutions at 335 Broadway Street.

For more information on TraffiQR visit traffiqr.com.



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