[icon xe003] While QR codes are ubiquitous among the tech-savvy markets and entrepreneurs nowadays, some have speculated that the barcode-like images are growing outdated. Readily available by using any one of the countless apps, programs and websites that generate the two-tone codes, the QR can be scanned for a million uses- but why hasn’t it exploded in popularity like many expected?
According to MarketingLand.com, “QR codes (short for “quick response” codes) were first created by the automotive industry in Japan back in 1994. Somewhere around two to three years ago in the United States, these strange looking squares became the talk of the town and started appearing everywhere; on t-shirts, outdoor ads, food labels — you name it.” Plastered on the roof of a building so planes and satellites flying over can scan it, printed on the back of business cards to allow potential clients to contact anyone instantly, used as a sort of interactive bumper sticker- the versatility of the QR encoding formula lends itself to infinite uses due to the many ways it can be employed.
However, recent times have seen a decline in the popularity of this bit of information technology. Joe Murphy, noted librarian and IT innovator, cites “their reliance on the scanner being stable and steady, size and distance sensitivity, impacts on traffic flow, the necessity of data connectivity to access and use, the increasing ease of each code blending into obscurity as the technology proliferates, updating and maintaining the code in the back end” as only part of the inherent problems that the coding system and its’ users must contend with. Context is important, though, as there has yet to be a viable contender to take its place.
What do you think? Are QR codes here to stay, or is another innovation on the horizon?