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Technology

Are QR codes ready for mainstream adoption?

Are QR codes ready for mainstream adoption?
darren.mccarra@sociable.co'

Although the editorial content of the Irish Daily Star isn’t particularly interesting in my opinion, one half-page advertisement on page fourteen of yesterday’s publication caught my attention. The advertisement contained nothing more than an image of one man’s bald head with a note saying “Warning: Coming to a head near you”, and cleverly a QR code placed neatly in the top-right-hand corner. So once again we ask the question – are QR codes popular enough to use in mainstream media?

QR code in Today FM advertisement in the Irish Daily Star (24/01/11)

QR code used in Today FM advertisement in the Irish Daily Star on January 24th, 2011

To those of you that may be unaware of QR codes, they’re essentially simple barcodes that can be scanned using smartphones and a QR code reader application. Most codes exist solely as links to websites where the user can gain further information about a product or service. They’re simple yet very effective.

We covered a similar article back in September 2010 when we asked whether QR codes had gone mainstream as a result of an album advertisement featuring Linkin Park that contained a QR code. We also documented their use during the popular augmented reality game Copān across Dublin towards the end of last year.

Scanning the QR code in the Irish Daily Star advertisement using an application like QuickMark for Android brings you to a Today FM countdown webpage promoting their Shave or Dye 2011 campaign. The entire advertisement experience from print to mobile browser provides a nice convergence between old and new technologies.

While I heartedly support the use of QR codes, I do have some reservations on how they are used in this instance. The advertisement featured would not work without the viewer having prior knowledge of what a QR code is and how to use it. The purpose of the advertisement, unless you were already aware of the Today FM campaign, is not immediately apparent, and instead is hidden behind the QR code. The advertisement may be more effective if the QR code existed as an accompaniment rather than a prerequisite to the ad experience itself.

So are QR codes ready for widespread mainstream adoption? We’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject.

View Comments (25)

25 Comments

  1. darrenmccarra@gmail.com'

    darrenmccarra

    January 25, 2011 at 4:05 PM

    Nearly all smartphones released in Ireland have QR code reader apps available to them (rough guess of about 90%), so the infrastructure is there. So what’s the percentage of smartphones versus dumber handsets in Ireland? Either way, a substantial percentage of people have the means to read QR codes, but do they know how, or want to?

    • patrick@qrarts.com'

      qrarts

      January 26, 2011 at 4:26 PM

      @darrenmccarra Yes, I agree is a cultural issue right now, mixed with a personal motivational buy in

  2. Pingback: Tweets that mention Are QR codes ready for mainstream adoption? | The Sociable -- Topsy.com

  3. contact@youscan.me'

    youscanme

    January 26, 2011 at 8:48 AM

    QR codes will change the way we advertise or show online information to the people. Check out YouScan.me to make a social QR codes for your business or personal needs.

  4. jumpscan@gmail.com'

    JumpScan

    January 26, 2011 at 2:46 PM

    We believe QR codes will go mainstream, due in large part to the big retailers use of them (e.g. Best Buy, Target, Lowe’s, etc.) JumpScan.com provdes the ability to create a custom, “all-in-one” QR code for either personal or business use.

  5. Pingback: QR Codes: Multichannel Mobile Marketing Direct Marketers can Measure | PrintMediaCentr.com

  6. patrick@qrarts.com'

    qrarts

    January 26, 2011 at 4:25 PM

    I just wrote an article about QrCodes and adoption yesterday, and whether it is an important question. Rather I would comment that it about having enough of the right people using mobile tagging solutions that contextually make sense and provide great content. I think the examples we show and critique should answer if Qr codes were used effectively, rather then talking about the technology in a worldly sense. My full commentary is here: http://qrarts.com/2011/01/qrcode-adoption-there-is-no-tipping-point/

    Patrick Donnelly, QrArts

  7. patrick@qrarts.com'

    qrarts

    January 26, 2011 at 4:26 PM

    I also wonder at this time what does “mainstream” even mean? How do you define that statistically?

  8. pdscott.signup+livefyre@gmail.com'

    pdscott

    January 26, 2011 at 4:47 PM

    Have you seen the Copan QR code scavenger hunt game that ran in Dublin in December?
    http://sociable.co/2010/12/10/copan-augmented-reality-game-launches-on-sunday-12-december/

    It seemed to be a markting and promotional success for them – could these be expanded for other purposes?

    • darrenmccarra@gmail.com'

      darrenmccarra

      January 26, 2011 at 6:01 PM

      @pdscott I think QR codes can be used effectively within the 18-35 demography, but not outside that age group, not yet anyway.

  9. Pingback: The Next Generation of Print in 2011 | PrintMediaCentr.com

  10. Pingback: QR codes and college media « Innovation in College Media

  11. garydubh@gmail.com'

    garydubh

    March 23, 2011 at 10:31 PM

    Ne Loc8 Code Iphone App “point8” supports QR Codes – App will Navigate to Loc8 Codes in QR Codes

  12. garydubh@gmail.com'

    garydubh

    March 23, 2011 at 10:31 PM

    New Loc8 Code Iphone App “point8” supports QR Codes – App will Navigate to Loc8 Codes in QR Codes

  13. garydubh@gmail.com'

    garydubh

    March 23, 2011 at 11:31 PM

    New Loc8 Code Iphone App “point8” supports QR Codes – App will Navigate to Loc8 Codes in QR Codes

  14. sociable.co@gmail.com'

    thesociable

    March 24, 2011 at 12:15 AM

    @garydubh The Loc8 app sounds very interesting. Will it be free or paid for? We could possible do a review on it.

  15. the@sociable.co'

    thesociable

    March 24, 2011 at 1:15 AM

    @garydubh The Loc8 app sounds very interesting. Will it be free or paid for? We could possible do a review on it.

    • garydubh@gmail.com'

      garydubh

      March 24, 2011 at 10:29 PM

      @thesociable @garydubh it will be a paid for App

      • darrenmccarra@gmail.com'

        darrenmccarra

        March 25, 2011 at 1:01 AM

        @garydubh Can you set us up with access to the app Gary and we could do a review. When is the official release date, and is there any chance of getting it pre-release?

        • garydubh@gmail.com'

          garydubh

          March 26, 2011 at 1:17 PM

          @darrenmccarra email info@loc8code.com to set up – they are waiting and will organise

  16. garydubh@gmail.com'

    garydubh

    March 24, 2011 at 9:29 PM

    @thesociable @garydubh it will be a paid for App

  17. darrenmccarra@gmail.com'

    darrenmccarra

    March 25, 2011 at 12:01 AM

    @garydubh Can you set us up with access to the app Gary and we could do a review. When is the official release date, and is there any chance of getting it pre-release?

  18. garydubh@gmail.com'

    garydubh

    March 26, 2011 at 12:17 PM

    @darrenmccarra email info@loc8code.com to set up – they are waiting and will organise

  19. glenn@getmethere.ie'

    pixqr

    March 30, 2011 at 10:12 AM

    I wrote an article on QR Codes and the need to Track & Measure the results.

    Read it here: https://pixqr.com/s/4

    QR Codes are here whether we like it or not. I saw an “oldish” movie that had a part of the storyline,about the internet – the next big revolution and to invest in the mother of all search engines etc. They were just starting to use Mobile phones the size of bricks.

    Boy have we come a long way.

  20. glenn@getmethere.ie'

    pixqr

    March 30, 2011 at 10:12 AM

    I wrote an article on QR Codes and the need to Track & Measure the results.

    Read it here: https://pixqr.com/s/4

    QR Codes are here whether we like it or not. I saw an “oldish” movie that had a part of the storyline,about the internet – the next big revolution and to invest in the mother of all search engines etc. They were just starting to use Mobile phones the size of bricks.

    Boy have we come a long way.

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Technology
darren.mccarra@sociable.co'
@darrenmccarra

Darren McCarra is co-editor of The Sociable. He has a keen interest in photography, all things mobile, and writing about technology and social media. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

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