QR codes seemed to charge into the worlds of marketing, advertising and social media with the speed of several turbo charged cheetahs towing product information. Some believe that the ancient Egyptians were introduced to QR codes by a benevolent alien brain trust. Others believe that people quickly saw the effectiveness of the new tech and it caught on, moving forward from there.
In the last few years, QR codes have gone from a new tech that most people would probably know nothing about, to a highly accepted social phenomenon. Think about it, look around you. They are everywhere, from billboards to restaurant menus, from newsprint to business cards. The process is so diabolically simple that it makes perfect sense. You just download an app to your smartphone, spot a QR code and scan it in. From there you are brought to a landing page, this could be whatever the creator of the code wishes to direct you to. Sometimes that is simply a website and social media links, but it can also serve as a great way to add content depth. For instance, maybe you see an ad in a magazine of a flashy new sports car, scan the code and you are brought to a video of the car in action and the ability to learn more.
However, many think that QR Codes are reaching their peak. Is this true? Much like predicting if your roommate’s cat is going to cough up a hairball on to your socks, it is tough to say.
Augmented Reality, or AR, is already beginning to show what the future of scannable environments will hold. With some apps you can take a picture, scan a code, or even speak your way to in-depth content or new and undiscovered ways to communicate information.
Does this mean that the QR code is about to take a fateful final drive off a cliff a la Thelma and Louise? Or, does this mean that we will probably see QR codes become more integrated and a part of the new tech going forward? I like to think that the latter is the more probable but only time will tell.
Either way, QR codes were and are an innovative attempt to deepen our social media experience and whatever direction this new movement heads, it will take us one step closer to a beautiful future filled with rainbows and butterflies. And unicorns.