DARPA ended its CLIQR Quest challenge on March 8 with no one finding all seven of the valid codes.

The challenge offered a cash prize for locating and identifying quick response codes placed around the country in an effort to advance knowledge of social media and the Internet. While all seven valid codes were found, no one entity submitted all seven.

“Previous DARPA efforts in this research area—for example, the DARPA Network Challenge, which everyone seems to know as the Red Balloon Challenge—drove participation in the experiment,” said DARPA Deputy Director Kaigham Gabriel. “That challenge began with the Agency purposefully launching a communication outreach campaign to draw attention to the experiment. With CLIQR Quest, we sought to test the opposite end of the spectrum—zero excitation through public Agency announcements.”

The winner of the CLIQR Quest will receive a prorated amount of the $40,000 prize for being the first to find and submit three of the seven valid challenge codes.


“Although not all seven QR codes were submitted by a single source, analysis from the experiment should provide a baseline for further research into how information spreads through social media,” said Jay Schnitzer, office director, Defense Sciences Office, DARPA. “One thing that may be proven from the CLIQR Quest is that new and traditional media are not as separate as some believe them to be. In fact, they may be mutually supportive.”

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