QR codes – do they have a future?

I wrote a piece over on MADEs discussion board recently about QR codes. They have been used on some of MADEs promotional material and I thought they deserved a little more explanation:

Over the last few years you may have noticed barcodes like this one appearing on flyers, posters, leaflets, books, newspapers, some of the things you buy at your local shop and even on business cards.

They are QR codes (which stands for Quick Response) and they originated in Japan in the mid 90s, but they have become popular over recent years thanks to the prevalence of mobile phones, and in particular, Smartphones (for example Blackberry, iPhone, HTC etc).

If you own a Smartphone you can use an app (some phones have an app built-in, Blackberry’s Reader for example) to scan the barcode which will quickly and efficiently link you to relevant information on a website through the web-browser on your phone. If you don’t own a smartphone it’s still possible to scan a QR code via your computer’s webcam using dedicated software.

Read the rest of the piece here

QR codes are MASSIVE in Japan. They are on everything, every commercial product. They have formed part of life, but I wonder if they have a future over here in the UK. QR codes haven’t taken off quite as well as expected, and it’s safe to say that the assumption that everyone carries a smartphone may have something to do with this.

Perhaps they’re here to stay, but it’s just going to take a while for them to get going. Who knows…. Either way, if you use QR codes in your business, bear in mind that they can’t be used by everyone, and may need some explanation and guidance on how to use them.

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