Is QR Technology Future-Proof?

8 minutes

Perhaps you’ve used a QR (quick response) code to access product information, a detailed description of a museum artifact, or, more recently, a touch-free menu at a restaurant during the pandemic. They’re handy little reference points, but even the most useful technologies can be replaced as innovation marches on. We asked industry experts to share their thoughts on the staying power of QR technology. Read on to learn more.

Flynn Zaiger

Flynn Zaiger

Flynn Zaiger is a digital marketing expert. He is the founder of The Washington DC Digital Agency for Marketing, dedicated to helping small and medium-sized businesses in the district grow through search, social, and programmatic.

Useful at the moment

When QR codes first arrived, they were heralded as the new URL. They would make getting to websites quicker, passwords safer, and the human experience better. Years later, they have achieved very little of that. QR codes are getting a reawakening lately because of COVID. They're being used for restaurant menus and to see what cocktails are available at your outside happy hour.

While QR codes are certainly useful at the moment, they're not future-proof. QR codes are focused on a camera-first world, utilizing decades-old technology. As our smartphones get better, they will improve their ability to read the written word and identify objects without the help of a QR code. This means that they're only a few years from becoming obsolete.

Vipin Chahal

Vipin Chahal

Vipin Chahal, Founder of Return Policy Guide.

Very efficient

I have seen the evolution of marketing and payment systems. There has been a lot of new and advanced technology being used to attract customers and force them to spend more. One such way has been the QR scan method which has taken small and medium businesses to a whole new level. Not only for businesses but also for sending important files, registering for an event, getting details of a product, or reproducing data, QR codes have been very efficient in handling these things.

The main reason for the popularity and increasing use of QR codes is that they can be easily made and used within minutes. On top of it, there are very few security concerns involved as it is end-to-end encrypted and can only be used by the person whom it was meant for. This makes it compatible with all kinds of uses and also future-ready. There have been a lot of other technologies for sharing links, payments, files, and other data, but QR codes have been the most consistent due to the above-mentioned reasons. They also help us preserve valuable digital information. Scan away and access them anywhere, anytime, and on any device.

QR technology is fully future-proof and can be used to store, transfer, or migrate data efficiently in a very short period of time.

Skyler Reeves

Skyler Reeves

Skyler Reeves is the President & CEO of Ardent Growth and advocate for small business owners.

A standard feature

In a period where physical contact has become very limited due to the ongoing pandemic, many businesses have already realized the value of QR codes in their operations. Since they are now native to smartphones, QR code scanning will be a standard feature in future technology. As we value information sharing more and more, these codes can certainly meet the demands of consumers and help raise their satisfaction.

I believe QR technology is future-proof, owing to the fact that the use cases it has become more complex (from getting personalized playlists to delivering health information from the food we take in). It's all a matter of aligning them to the essential needs of consumers in the future that will make a difference.

Mike Allen

Mike Allen

Mike Allen, Co-Founder at The Fashion Jacket. He has a Master’s in computing with over six years of experience in the eCommerce industry.

There are drawbacks

When the QR code was first launched, it was expected to be a major success for all kinds of consumers but it has a few shortcomings, such as not being reliable at all times. Besides, it requires an additional application, which is not only time-taking but also a nuisance at times for users. The modern world needs up-to-date technologies that accelerate life.

Another major factor is the arbitrary design of these codes. Aesthetics and design are in demand. They play a huge role in technology, so the black and white QR code does not go along with the customers’ requirements well. These drawbacks have been [improved upon] by technologies like NFC tag and SnapTag. Therefore, it can be assumed that in the future, these QR codes will be dead.

Shayne Sherman

Shayne Sherman

Shayne Sherman, Tech expert, and CEO of Techloris.

For Generation Z

Generation Z will be a money conscious, money-savvy generation, and keeping their customers will be more difficult when brand allegiance may no longer apply. 96% of Gen Z owns a smartphone according to Mediakix, and 40% of them will account for all consumers this year (2020).

QR codes are going to offer a generation the rewards they have grown up with while seeing their parents shop with loyalty cards but teamed with a technology that is more in line with their online spending habits. Gen Z is data conscious and unhappy to share personal information, so in signing up for programs, QR codes allow them the ability to receive fast access to information and rewards without the need to share this data. Finding a technology that meets the needs of a generation is a way to make it future-proof for that generation.

Laura Fuentes

Laura Fuentes

Laura Fuentes' love for every major sport made her aware of the frustration that comes with trying to acquire a decent cable sports package. In turn, she became a major advocate for Dish and began operating Infinity Dish.

In progress

QR technology has more traveling to do before it can be called future-proof, but it is definitely making strides in that direction. COVID gave QR codes a huge bump as people used them to open up menus, and they allowed customers to pay from their phones. Museums are using them to allow guests to download user guides, and some places have put QR codes in elevators to create a touchless system. QR codes have the potential to become part of our daily life post-COVID, providing us with more and more touchless options, particularly in the area of sales and tourism.

Joe Tuan

Joe Tuan

Joe Tuan, CEO at Topflightapps.

Doubt many people know

Just the other day, my friend and I were passing a curbside cafe here in Irving and noticed a huge QR ad. I pulled out an iPhone and quickly scanned the code, which seemed to flabbergast my pal. He spent the next 10 minutes fiddling with his Samsung, figuring out how to scan the ad. Eventually, we found the QR code scanning option in the built-in browser.

The pleasant experience I had reading that code was because I was [using] an iPhone and, to a greater degree, because of my developer background. I have to know about such things. At the same time, I doubt many people know that Apple enabled QR code scanning in its latest OS version.

QR codes never really caught on. And they won’t, even despite Apple giving them a second chance:

1. Get a stain on a QR code, and it becomes unreadable. 2. Try reading a QR code in the dark. 3. Pray that whatever is behind a QR code is decent (and age-appropriate)
Petra Odak

Petra Odak

Petra Odak, the Chief Marketing Officer at Better Proposals.

May be a bit too much to work

I think that QR technology isn’t here to stay very long because not a lot of companies that I know of and work with have used it successfully. The main problem with it is that no matter how functional QR codes are, they are not very aesthetically pleasing, to say the least, and fitting them into an existing design can be a challenge. Second, the user experience is not always ideal because you need to grab your phone, open an app, scan the code, go to a website, and then get started. For today’s and future generations, it may be a bit too much to work with.

David Turnbull

David Turnbull spent 16 years working for other people in the IT industry before throwing in the towel and starting his own IT training business TX Training.

It’s here to stay

QR technology is here to stay. It provides a convenient way to get things done that isn't dependent on whether your company’s app is installed on someone's phone or not, as well as being something that can be used across multiple phone platforms.

You can use a QR code to check in at a restaurant before you arrive, follow a social media account, find a location on Google maps, and everything in between. Given the universally adopted standard, there isn't any point in developing an alternative. It wouldn't be worth the amount of money that would have to be invested to create a competitor, not to mention the amount of work it would take to get the message out there to get everyone to adopt the new standard and finally to ditch their old QR codes.

This is a crowdsourced article. Contributors are not necessarily affiliated with this website and their statements do not necessarily reflect the opinion of this website, other people, businesses, or other contributors.

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