The Future of QR Codes

QR Codes have generated a lot of hype and excitement, and some marketers have been fast in taking advantage of them to market themselves. However, doubts still exist on how long the QR Codes can remain relevant in the business for many reasons.

One reason is that Mobile phones that can support the QR Codes are limited in number and they are not widely spread or accessible to most people. This means that very few people can actually decode the codes even if they accessed them. Furthermore, some people whose phones can decode QR Codes have no idea what the codes or their applications are and to them, there is no difference between the QR Codes and the more common barcodes.

Another issue that limits the success of QR Codes is the fact that most people do not notice them. Even when placed in newspapers or magazines, most readers just pass them without putting too much thought on them. The situation is even worse when the codes are placed in billboards and buildings.

Some of the information provided by QR Codes is sometimes irrelevant and this can lead to reduced popularity of the codes. For example, a detergent company can allow scanning of a stain and then identify the stain and provide information on how best to remove such a stain. The emergence of the Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, which is a technology that allows connection of mobile devices that are in close range, has also provided competition to the QR Codes, especially since more phones support NFC than QR Codes.

However, the future of QR Codes is not completely bleak as they can be applied in many ways in a beneficial manner. For example, drugs companies can place medication instructions on bottles or sachets holding the tablets and in the process reduce the package space through elimination of printed instructions. Apart from drugs the QR Codes can be used to reduce the package space of any kind of product or material with limited space but with a need to communicate important or complex information.

The codes can also be used in parking applications. In such applications the codes are used to guide drivers to parking areas in major and busy towns. The QR Codes can also be integrated with other programs to notify drivers about which parking areas have open parking spaces. For example, the municipality of Bordeaux in France put the QR Codes into good use by putting them in parking meters all around the town in order to track their activity. The municipality also integrated the codes with Google maps to guide drivers to parking locations.

Another important application of QR Codes that might gain popularity in the future is the use of the codes to keep track of train and bus schedules. The codes are usually strategically located in entry points of bus or train stations where travellers can scan them and learn the train or bus schedules. The QR Codes can also be used to charge passengers through monthly bills where the codes are scanned as a passenger enters and leaves the train to keep track of distance travelled.