What Happened To 2D Bar Codes?

For many years I've had a 2D bar code at the side of my blog to help people to get to my blog more easily on their mobile device when they discover it on their notebook or desktop PC. But these days I wonder if it is really still necessary!? While seeming to be very popular in Japan, bar codes to get further information haven't really caught on anywhere else. Every now and then I see a 2D bar code on a poster but if I'm really interested I'd rather type in the name of the product and let Google or Bing guide me to the website. And for me it's even more convenient, as making a search query with a single term even with a virtual keyboard is still easier than trying to remember where to find and how to use the 2D bar code reader application on my mobile device. What do you think, where will the 2D bar code story go?

3 thoughts on “What Happened To 2D Bar Codes?”

  1. I used to have one on my site, but like you I questioned the usefulness of this. I have since embarked on a different strategy, and this seems to work well.

    That strategy is that whenever I am using or communicating disposable items (business cards, announcements, etc), that I use QR codes as a means to merge print-digital associations where an implicit URL might have less significance. For example, the print version of my business card shows no text, but only shows the QR code which is a downloadable vCard itself.

    With most of the world missing the initial impact of QR codes, and the quickly approaching image recognition feature coming into mobile and pocket cameras, QR might end up being resigned as a bridge to AR/VR effects. Which isn’t bad, but it does mean that implementations need to be more thoughtful than just “throw a stamp on it.”

  2. Instead of putting a QR code on your site, why not use a shortened URL instead?

    This is way more easy to comprehend and can also be used in case you’re not too familiar with your phone’s QR code reader capabilities…

    is working right now…

  3. I’m not sure why QR codes have not taken off. I remember them being quite useful when I was living in Japan. A single QR code in an advertisement could load a map that would tell me how to get from the rail station to a restaurant, and it would have a coupon as well that I could show the staff for a discount.

    I think the fact that the handset manufacturers and the operators don’t include the reader on their devices makes a difference. Almost all domestic handset producers in Japan have a QR code reader installed by default.

    Although I had to download and install a QR code reader on my Nokia N73. My Toshiba and NEC handsets, though much more inferior to N73, had the QR code reader available in a top level menu.

    Smart phones may make the QR cdoe irrelveant, though. Most handset software in Japan is very primitive compared to the Symbian, RIMM, Android, Windows Mobile or iOS. Propietary portals like ezWeb or iMode are still quite popular versus the open Internet.

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