QR Codes Revisited: Dying or Dead?

Example of Micro QR
Image via Wikipedia

Almost a year ago, I talked about Microsoft TAG… 2D barcoding… and what the QR-type of technology might mean to the future of print magazines, etc. [see Tag(Are you it?? 5/30/)] This Gizmodo article by Adrian Covert, QR Codes: Goodbye and Good Riddance suggests that this arguably clunky technology is on its way out. I think Adrian’s timing is off. First of all, I don’t think we’ve really explored many of the good QR rabbit holes.

Here are a few off the top of my head:

  • Guided museum/walking tours. You use your phone to read the tag which delivers a robust tour experience
  • Same as above, but hiking trails… tagged signs, etc.
  • POS coupons. Merchandise tagged with a discount for the smart phone savvy
  • Tagged ads in tablet-formatted magazines that appear when the reader has been geo-targeted – tags take the reader to a special offer
  • Tag polls where scanning the tag casts the vote
  • Messages to space… imagine the world’s largest QR code…

Look, I’m not arguing for tremendous longevity here. QR tags, to my way of thinking, are a transitional modality that takes us from printed delivery of information to online delivery.

QR codes are, in a sense, a CMYK-to-RGB migration. And they will be around as long as we’re going through that transition.

The notion of tags will surely die. It’s the way of life. Technology¬† becomes obsolete. Trees fall and become soil. Human beings wrinkle, sag and rot. But Adrian is being overly gleefully premature (in a way that almost bespeaks some sort of pathological aversion to them…) I’d give ’em a couple more years. Minimum.

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