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Also Buddha is leveraging the cyberspace

QR codes used to deliver information, augmented reality and to offer money at the Wat Phra Kaew temple in Chiang Rai

Let me start with a note: in no way this post has to be seen as disrespectfuf to Buddhism, nor to any other religion. It is not intended to be at all.

I spent a few vacation days in Chiang Rai, a wonderful place in the Northern Thailand, nice people, nice food, wonderful landscape and plenty of culture that you really feel as you walk around.

A good part of this culture is rooted in Buddhism and there are wonderful temples at every step. One of the things that drew my attention (yes I know, my roots are in the geek area) was to see that in what is probably the oldest temple in Chiang Rai, the Wat (Vat?) Phra Kaew there were plenty of QR code for people to use to get information in several languages, to get more images and multimedia on specific parts and statues and even the possibility to use a QR code to make donation to the temple.

Let me say that I was surprised by this mingling of the digital world with the ancient world, seeing how a culture that goes back centuries is starting to adsorb technology. There were a few monks around, and I saw several of them using their smartphone. To me it looked like a clear sign that bits and atoms are bound to go hand in hand in the future. Today I can be surprised to see it happening in certain ambient, tomorrow I will no longer notice, it will feel perfectly natural.

About Roberto Saracco

Roberto Saracco fell in love with technology and its implications long time ago. His background is in math and computer science. Until April 2017 he led the EIT Digital Italian Node and then was head of the Industrial Doctoral School of EIT Digital up to September 2018. Previously, up to December 2011 he was the Director of the Telecom Italia Future Centre in Venice, looking at the interplay of technology evolution, economics and society. At the turn of the century he led a World Bank-Infodev project to stimulate entrepreneurship in Latin America. He is a senior member of IEEE where he leads the Industry Advisory Board within the Future Directions Committee and co-chairs the Digital Reality Initiative. He teaches a Master course on Technology Forecasting and Market impact at the University of Trento. He has published over 100 papers in journals and magazines and 14 books.