There is a contingent that feel QR codes are ugly. But I’ve had a bit of a fascination with them. Like all innovations, I think the QR code is helping pave the way to more elegant engagement tools. What have they helped us do? Easily engage mobile customers with additional content, this by re-purposing barcode type engineering first developed for factory use.
Is the supposed “ugly” in the door itself? Or is it in the doorway?
Plain jane QR code and a more creative and brand-wise spin:
Some of the QR code haters are talking up alternatives like Pongr and Spyderlynk –now arriving on the marketing scene– as delivering superior “snap-to-engage” alternatives to the QR code:
Pongr was profiled in Fast Company this month. The idea behind Pongr is this: why encourage customers to click photos of QR codes when they “already take photos of brands”? Pongr uses image recognition software and makes an interactive game of encouraging customers/fans to take pics of brands, email them to the company, to get back “brand rewards.”
Spyderlynk is building a business selling social snaptags to businesses:
But there’s some “sexy-ugly” to the QR code: they herald from a working class background (see the history below) and offer easy to implement functionality for nearly anyone with little technical savvy. DIY to embed your own content or that of your business. It’s refreshing to see that Pongr and Spyderlynk are trying to create something better, but it’s thanks to the QR code for its solid steppingstone-ness.
The Quick Response (QR) Code is a two-dimensional code developed at DENSO Corporation’s Industrial Systems Product Division (currently separated in 2001 to become DENSO WAVE Incorporated) in 1994.
The code was originally developed to manage automotive component inventories in DENSO plants. Traditional bar codes were conventionally used, but as the need increased to include more information in a limited space, DENSO set up a team in 1992 to develop a new code, and in two years the QR Code was developed.
The QR Code carries information in both the vertical and horizontal direction, which allows it to store up to several hundred times the amount of data carried by a bar code. Over 7,000 numeric characters can be encoded in one QR code.
The QR Code has position detection patterns located at the three corners of the code, which enable reader equipment to quickly and accurately read the code from any direction.
Since the QR Code was originally developed for factory use, one of the development focuses was to create a code that could withstand stains and damage. Through this development, the code’s data can be restored even if a maximum of 30 percent of the code is damaged.