Papillion, Neb., a city of about 20,500 residents just south of Omaha, recently installed "Digital Stop" signs that feature digital bar codes, called QR codes, to deliver information to visitors at 13 city facilities. When scanned by a smartphone app, the QR codes drive content — such as web sites with hours of operation, policies, upcoming events or contact information — to that user's phone.

Papillion printed the QR codes on white octagon signs, which cost $75 each to produce, and placed them at city hall, a library, golf courses and parks. The city plans to expand its use of QR codes to enable residents to reserve park shelters or ball fields, take virtual walking tours or receive updates on the progress of construction projects.

"The primary goal is to provide as much information as quickly and conveniently as we can," says Mayor David Black. "This technology provides a very cost-effective way to deliver information, especially among our many younger residents who are more likely to use smartphones. We want to reach people directly."

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