History of QR codes
Connecting the Physical and Digital Worlds.
Mindshare, November 2010
QR codes were the first attempt to create a link between online and offline. The codes originated in Japan as a way to track shipping. In Asia, where smart-phone technology had outpaced the other markets, QR codes have been quickly adopted for marketing purposes. The rollout was done properly in that the handset manufacturers pre-installed the
decoders first and then began releasing the code. This meant there was no issue around people accessing reading the codes.
While they've been available in the US and Europe for the past couple of years, QR codes haven't caught on predoinantly due to the fragmentation that currently exists in the mobile ecosystem. The release of the code came without the proper education in the market which means that there we were compatibility and other issues, resulting in a diminished user experience.
In the past years, several brands in Europe were trying out to integrate the QR technology
into their campaigns, but often failed to generate much consumer interactions.
This is now changing with pre-installation and a raft of third party decoders available for
download; QR codes are going slightly more mainstream.Penetration
After more than a decade, QR codes are finally starting to gain some popularity in Europe and US. The penetration of QR codes increases with advances in mobile technology and subsequent drops in handset prices. More and more consumers own Smartphones and most of them come with QR code readers already installed.
More importantly, though, QR codes will be able to make a comeback as people become more comfortable interacting with new mobile technologies and willing to engage in other online/offline blending behaviors.
With the evolution of the image recognition technology there isn’t any surprise that other
alternative, more developed options are quickly occupying the space.Alternatives
Visual search: Google has launched Goggles recently - a mobile image recognition application, which allows users to take pictures of various objects and Google Goggles will identify them and then serve the search results in the same way as it was served through standard search request. Items that Goggles can identify include buildings, bridges, landmarks, bar codes, logos, text, business cards and product ino for things like books and DVDs.
Google Goggles demo: Download full report