So recently at my job there has been some discussion around QR codes. Now I do not personally have a QR scanner on my phone because so far I have not seen the point. I do not live in a place that is really using them at all so there is not a purpose to me having them. It got me thinking though about who is really using QR codes. For the most part they are just taking you to a website to find out more information, but hopefully the site is optimized for mobile. Now I can kind of appreciate the idea of QR codes because they seem to be convenient. Instead of having to type in an url you just scan it with your phone and get the information. However, there are some fundamental flaws with the idea of QR codes.
Download the QR Scanner
First before QR codes can be useful, I need to have a QR scanner on my phone. So I will have needed to take some forethought to go find a scanner to use. This takes time and effort. You almost need to see a reason that you need the QR scanner before deciding to download it. Now obviously you can do this anywhere with a cell phone, but how many people want to take the time for what is most likely an advertisement?
Taking the Time to Scan
Since I personally have never used a QR code partly because I have not really seen them anywhere, I am not sure how long it takes, but you still have to make some effort. Even with a url you have to make some effort, but to take up your phone and physically scan something to get to the same location it also takes time. I have to say when I see an ad with a url I do not often take out my phone to type the url, partly because it is an ad. Now it is possible if I thought I got something out of it I might be willing to do it, but most likely I will just want to move on.
So because the QR code discussion came up at my job I started looking up more information since I personally had never used them. A lot of it was good information, but the biggest thing is that the purpose had to be very specific and should not just be any random fancy. There was also one place that listed the misuse of how QR codes are being used (sorry since it was looked up at work I do not have the url right). Showing that while obviously people are using it they are not understanding how it is meant to be used, and therefore possibly perpetuating the idea that QR is more of a gimmick.
What Do You Think
Not living in a place that uses QR codes it is difficult to say whether the technology is worth while or not. Now I have to say I saw Disneyland use it once as a promotional item inside the park that seemed like a neat idea. At the same time since I did not already have a QR scanner and did not want to take the time to find one when I could be going on rides it obviously did not intrigue me enough. The other question is are we getting to a point that there are potentially better technologies than something that is just a simplified web address?