Way back when I was working – in 2006 I think it was – I first saw QR codes being used in Asia. They seemed to be everywhere in Japan certainly and while I tried to get some interest going within the company to use it as a marketing tool, at the time it was just a step too far for the marketing people we were having to deal with as they were, and likely are still, clueless.
QR is short for ‘quick response’ and is just a 2D bar code which was first designed for the automotive industry by Toyota. One of its principal attractions is that it can be read and decoded very quickly, and as well can be used to encode different types of data (alpha, numeric, binary, etc.). The range of uses is limited only by the imagination – it is used in hard copy advertising to store URL’s of web sites to provide additional sales information, features, colours, special targeted discounts, etc. or on things such as transit tickets to be scanned by ticket readers. I wanted to stick them on fuel pumps at service stations. The growth in usage within North America is tied directly to the relatively recent and rapid rate of uptake of smartphones – as you often hear, ‘there is an app for that’ on the iPhone and of course other devices that use the camera and some software to scan and then decode the QR codes with your phone. And of course as there is geo-location awareness in most phones these days, so not only do the advertisers know what ad you’ve looked at but also where you are when you do so which is useful for targeting consumers with special offers and promotions.
While it only took my old firm a few years to finally take our advice and get with the program, I’m pleased to see that at least the Canadian arm do now finally have a few QR code applications and usage modes. Better late than never I suppose …..
It may seen a bit redundant as you are already here (! ), but below is the QR code for the OJB web site for you to play with – enjoy !