The QR Dilemma

18 Nov

Editor’s Note: I’ve published this so I’ll leave it up but having a few problems with the aesthetics! Bare with me!

Laura from i-robinson set down the challenge earlier this week. There has been a lot of excitement about QR codes of late with an equal dosage of the opposite. What Laura proposed in her post was QR codes ability to adopt colour and art to a pre-existing dull square, brands can now bring these graphic hot-links to life through other ways such as:

  • Hide clues within the QR code graphic and create a mobile game
  • Give audiences a choice of two QR codes to scan for different experiences/content
  • Individuals creating their own personal QR code which holds all their profile details – perhaps we will start seeing these used instead of profile pictures or added onto CV’s which direct employers to a candidates personal website?
This is a really interesting development for QR’s future and I am genuinely intrigued how brands adopt these. For one, to be more striking through colours and non 90-degree angles (to an extent) may attract a lot more attention. I believe there is a lot of opportunities for QR codes so I will watch this space …probably for not too long though.
What I don’t get is why settle? Why QR codes? What makes a QR code such a step up from a text this number or a normal weblink? The interaction? Probably, but if it is about interactive why aren’t marketeers picking up on Google Goggles!
I’ll start my argument with the video below.
It can solve a Sudoku puzzle!!! That should be a debate winner right there, but for my slightly intoxicated emotional rant I’ll carry on.
The technology doesn’t hinder one over the other. You can either download a laser scanner to your mobile or Google Goggles to your mobile. What’s more, with the recent purchase of Motorola and Android slowly taking market share in the mobile OS war, Google Goggles in well positioned to instil this technology into its existing camera. No more downloading apps, more a swipe of the finger to unlock interactive photography.
The video explains Google Goggles potential. It’s a little dry, but it gives you an idea how wonderful this technology is!
So to argue for Google Goggles over QR codes…
  • 40% of UK consumers know about them. There is no sugar-coating this, they have been around for a pretty long time and as Laura points out 59% of consumer packaging has a QR code. They are the mini-disc of the marketing world; fun and with a lot of potential but nah…
  • Also, Fifteen percent of men and twelve percent of women said that they have accessed online information with a QR Code
  • Moving statistics aside, it is the actual flexibility of Google Goggles than shines through. You can take a picture of anything and it will link you through to additional content. This could be the interior of a car in a showroom that accesses you info on consumer opinions or Mount Rushmore which on capturing lists its history and interesting facts. You don’t need to zoom up to a graphic square, a simple point and click is all you need to do!
  • Also going back to the Sudoku video before. The potential for that interactive experience is amplified ten fold. This could be as a tourist snapping pictures of famous buildings and having info and recommendations there and then in the palm of your hand (goodbye Lonely Planet) or even being unsuspecting and offering discounted deals when a customer snaps your brand logo (that’s a good one…)
As for technology, it is still early days so neither will emerge victorious for some time yet but I hope to think if we are pushing creative ideas, we are using the technology (as brands as well as end-users) to unlock this rich experience.
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