Archive - Apr 7, 2011
His post ends,
as creative and interesting QR codes are, I’m a bit skeptical in terms of mass adoption. For some reason, I can’t imagine consumer behavior changing to start scanning codes for things when they could just search or enter a URL. There’s also the technology that needs to be adopted by more devices.
Granted, I was a bit skeptical of Foursquare and Twitter too, but also Google Wave and Second Life.
What do you think?
My regular readers will recall that I've talked a lot about QR codes, as well as Google Wave and Second Life. So, I wrote a fairly long comment, that stands pretty well as a blog post of its own:
I am an innovator/early adopter in the technology adoption lifecycle, so I've always been a fan of new sites and new technology, whether it be Foursquare, Twitter, or Second Life and Google Wave, so it should come as no surprise that I'm QR Code believer.
First, however, let me offer a brief digression about Second Life and Google Wave. I don't believe either of those ideas failed. What failed was the companies efforts to promote it. I've spent a lot of time in Second Life and alway felt it was seriously mismanaged. I started talking a lot back then about the importance of open source virtual worlds, and just as we see Second Life dwindling, we are seeing more and more interest in OpenSim, an open source version of Second Life servers. While I have less for criticisms of Google, I find it interesting that while Google has stopped promoting Google Wave, they handed to code over to Apache, and there folks working on various open source Apache Wave servers. (I've run both OpenSim and Apache Wave servers).
Okay. Back to QR Codes. People need a reason to scan a barcode, whether it is a one dimensional or two dimensional bar code. In supermarkets, where UPC codes have been around for a many years, and during the early years, were rarely scanned, it is only in recent years we have gotten to the point of consumers scanning bar codes as they check out. They get something in return, a shorter wait in the checkout line. (At least in theory).
If people will scan UPC codes for some value, they will scan QR codes if value is presented to them. I've seen small specialized cases where that value exists: Scanning a QR Code at a museum to get information about a painting. More information for those who scan QR codes. I've heard stories of people scanning QR Codes in Japan to request taxis pick them up at a taxi stand. Better service for those who scan QR codes. I've heard stories of QR codes on Real Estate ads as a more efficient way of asking for information about a house for sale, but I haven't seen that and don't have details. That said, the QR Codes that I've scanned in magazine articles have not provided me any benefit.
So, will QR Codes make it? Yeah, when some creative people find ways of using them to provide value to customers that they can also profit off of, and I'm sure there are some creative people out there that can pull it off.