Using Quick Response (QR) Codes As An Indoor Wayfinding Tool: Benefits And Limitations



Quick Response (QR) code technology can improve many aspects of our lives, including wayfinding. However, since the indoor navigation tools based on QR codes require specific hardware and software, their practical application is limited. To examine this issue, this research aims to propose and investigate the performance of a lightweight QR code-based wayfinding tool for indoor environments that is low-cost, easy to adapt, and free of location-aware technologies. To do so, we conducted an experimental wayfinding study in a complex university campus building with 38 participants under two conditions: with and without QR codes. We measured wayfinding performance, perceived ease of task, comfort level of the participants, and collected their assessments of the study. To reveal the relationships between the variables and differences between conditions, we conducted the Pearson correlation coefficient test and repeated measure ANOVA. Our findings showed that although the participants completed the wayfinding tasks in the QR code condition in a longer duration and lower speed than the no-QR condition, their evaluations were generally more positive. Using QR codes inside complex buildings for indoor wayfinding may function as expected and be a useful lightweight and low-cost alternative to You-Are-Here maps, with the added benefit of potentially decreasing user anxiety. 

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