By: Gigaom
January 17, 2013 at 14:57 PM EST
GM turns to QR codes and smartphones for Chevy Volt info
Everywhere I park, people keep asking me about the Chevy Volt. Now, the most often asked question of "how exactly does it work?" can be answered by the car, a QR code and your smartphone.

With more than 2,000 miles on our Chevy Volt in just two months, all of those little trips are adding up. If I had to guess how often one of those trips involves someone asking about the car, I’d say it happens a few times a week. I don’t mind sharing my opinions on the car, or anything other technology for that matter; I’m a blogger after all. Much of the reason I write personal experiences about a home with solar panels or a plug-in car is to share the information with folks who are interested. Now GM has made it even easier to do that: A QR code sticker for my Volt helps people learn about the car without me even being present.

Volt stickerThe sticker arrived while I was traveling these past 10 days. It came in a new Volt owner’s kit that included a nice hardcover book that tells the story of the Volt, from concept to today. Also included are 10 small cards to hand-out when people invariably ask about the Volt. And they do, believe me.

Although I like the idea of the cards, the QR code sticker is a smart move on GM’s part to address misconceptions about the car with its large battery and gas generator.

Instead of scanning the QR code and simply being taken to the Volt’s website, the code points to a phone-friendly YouTube video showing how the Volt works. The video quality is only 360p resolution so it’s not going to eat up gobs of mobile broadband data. And at the lower resolution, it should look fine on a low-end phone. I’d rather see higher quality video on my Galaxy Note 2, since the screen is  capable of viewing high-definition video, but I understand why GM presents the video for the lowest common denominator displays.

Here’s a look at the video if you don’t have a QR code scanner:

What I like about it the most is that it does exactly what I do when asked about the Volt: The video explains how it works and what the capabilities are. This way, people understand if it’s the right vehicle for them.

I’ve had someone who drives 30,000 miles a year ask me about the car, for example, and I explained that while the Volt is innovative, it wouldn’t likely fit his driving usage patters. Folks in Philadelphia, however, get the same story from me and can see that with mostly city driving, the car is one of several great options. They’d get much the same impression from the linked video simply by using their smartphone near my Volt now.

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