by Sally Northmore .

Introducing QR codes in the gallery space
Connecting Shop visitors with the exhibition

With the opening of the new Shop exhibition today, Death, we're excited to also release a new feature — a digital gallery accompaniment for visitors with mobile devices.

In locations around the gallery space, as well as on our Shop business card, we've placed QR codes allowing visitors to connect to complementary content around the artwork.

QR stands for Quick Reponse, and you've likely seen these puzzle-like barcodes dotted around the city.  Passersby with mobile phones can scan the code with their phone camera, to be instantly linked through to a web site.

These codes are not foreign objects to museums and art institutions endeavouring to connect their visitors to their online experience.  In our own gallery space, the connection to our rich online site is not always apparent.  The mobile site is an effort to link our real visitors to the content on our online space, as well as enhance their experience in the physical space.

At the SHOWstudio Shop, visitors can scan a QR code, link through to the exhibition's mobile app, to find in-depth information about the artwork.  As our first 'test-run', the Shop's mobile site provides a few interesting features, including the ability to view the artists' reference imagery, while viewing the finished piece on location, as well as the option to enquire about purchasing the artwork.

We'll be rolling out further nifty features, including the ability to ask direct questions of the artists and purchase items easily in-store.

There are of course, technical pitfalls — limited access, a learning curve, data connections — but this is just the first test. We'll refine the look and features of the digital gallery through the course of the exhibition and those in the future.

Death opens today and runs until 31 August 2012.