Sunday, June 19, 2011

QR Codes - Why Aren't We Hearing More About Them?

QR Code usage is ramping up very slowly. Why is that? It's a wonderful idea. Use your phone as a scanner and get more information about a product, or include it into an existing app. For instance you can scan your food and an app could help you come up with something to cook for that night; another app could help can keep track of your clothes. Let an app know what your favorite beer is (it could tell that from your purchases and web queries) and as you pass a bar you could get a notice that this very bar has Six-Point Righteous Rye on tap and a great selection of Avery beers.

Why has it not taken off? Because right now selecting a QR Code provides limited utility to the end user. This will change shortly - in 5 years or so - when there are apps galore for the end user. Of course then QR Codes will be invisible, with dozens, if not hundreds hidden in EVERY graphic.

We can see the inevitable problems: as QR Codes become "pushed" on consumers there will be new calls for privacy; new data piracy problems. We will solve these problems as well.

EDIT 12/2/2011:

Starbucks Cup Magic launches for iPhone and Android devices in the US next week and allows users to point their iPhone at specially designed Christmas cups and see all sorts of fancy dancing things and enter competition.

The app works by pointing your phone’s camera at the company’s red holiday season coffee cups and 47 additional objects, such as bags of coffee, on display at Starbucks retail locations. Doing so will produce animations involving five characters — an ice skater, a squirrel, a boy and a dog sledding and a fox — on your screen. You can also interact with the characters. For instance, if you tap the boy on the sled he does a somersault. Those who activate all five characters can qualify to win an as-yet-unnamed prize.

Starbucks brings seasonal cups to life with AR

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