I like the idea of QR codes, encoding URLs and placing them on real world objects, but the QR codes themselves are kind of ugly. To make them less obvious I thought I could spray QR codes on to an object with an infrared reflective paint and shine infrared light on the QR codes, since most cameras, for instance the camera in my G1 phone, pick up infrared that our eyes do not.
In looking for this paint I've found that it comes up a lot in relation to the military for things like paint markers that are visible at night with proper equipment, and paint that absorbs IR light to make vehicles less obvious to night vision goggles. Even though the first reflects infrared light and the second absorbs it websites end up refering to both as infrared paint which made it difficult to search.
Additionally I found links to some other geeky infrared projects:
Sarah and I got an exercise bike on sale and when attempting to put it together found that it was missing a bag of about ten different screws. The manufacturer website said we could order a replacement bag for thirty dollars (!!) but since the instructions listed the various kinds of screws we needed I figured we could just go to a hardware store and buy them.
We started at Home Depot because I didn't know better. The screws are all listed in metric sizes which is apparently uncommon and a helpful senior worker forwarded us to McLendons whose stock was better but we were again redirected this time to Tacoma Screw Products.
Tacoma Screw Products is great! See them for your hardware needs first! The store has a back area with every kind of screw ever. I felt a little out of place as as all the customers looked like contractors. The employee who helped me explained the various options I had in screws as the bike instructions weren't as explicit as they could have been. In the end I bought all my screws for only one dollar (much better than $30!) and they all fit correctly.