QR codes (Quick Response codes) are nothing new. Toyota subsidiary Denso-Wave created QR codes in 1994 for vehicle part manufacturers to track equipment. QR Codes are popular in Japan and South Korea but have been slower to catch on in the West. A QR code is a matrix barcode presented by a 2D image of black or colored modules in a square pattern on white background.
Either dedicated QR barcode readers or camera phones can read the images. If you want to read a QR code with your iPhone, you need to download a third party app. I love the potential these things have, and the marketing applications are endless. So why aren’t they ubiquitous in the US yet?
Pros – QR codes:
- Hardlinking (linking to the internet from physical world objects). This is too cool. (Yet it also walks a fine line between nature and e. (Imagine a forest carved into a bird’s-eye view QR code: Thoughts?)
Kylie Minogue’s 2010 All the Lovers music video hardlinked nicely with a QR code which scans to produce the word LOVE:
- Convenience and mobility
- Ability to share a vCard (electronic business card)