Future Case

Crossmedia, Social, Mobile, Business Modeling, Marketing, Research and insights

What’s this with QR?

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Strolling through the streets of my hometown, my eye was attracted to a poster in a tram stop. The poster announced that Samsung has launched a new phone in cooperation with Google; the new Nexus. And then there was the QR code. Curious as I am, I opened my QR reader app in my iPhone and scanned the QR. Having installed a new and quite fast new QR code reader at QRscanner.nl, I was led to a website almost straight away. I tell you, it was a website. A fripp’n website and not a mobile site. I could not believe my eyes. Samsung in collaboration with Google led me to a practically non-readable common website to try sell me their new Nexus. Within an instant, I was in complete navigation confusion. Where was I? What were they trying to tell me? What was their call-to-action? Never ever shall I be drawn into the innovations of Samsung again.

Last week I was talking with a couple of colleagues about QR and one of them started to laugh. ‘Why?’, I asked. ‘Well, you see, QR will not fly. It doesn’t stand a chance, especially because Google is now entering the market with view recognition. I must say. It really looks smashing and it must have a lot of future. Of course Google will do its utter most best to get this into our system. And yes, it will succeed. But personally, I believe that QR has a bright future as well. The reason for my optimism? Simple code generation and smart measurement, for instance by Holland’s one and only Oneshoe. This Utrecht based interactive and mobile agency recently introduced a new and innovative tool to measure conversion from paper to phone. This is one crossover traditional media agencies are not likely to measure to the exactness of one-on-one. I for one will hungrily follow the development of this tool. In fact, Oneshoe is very creative when it comes down to QR as a media strategy extension. I recon you should talk with these guys if you want to learn more.

So what is the trouble with QR? Well, to be honest, every now and then a QR code looks a bit nerdy. Its shape is somewhat pixily and apart from black on white, not a lot of different colours are allowed due to readability (scanning) reasons. And of course, people must have a QR reader app in their phone, must know what QR is and must see some end benefit in the little black boxes. So, what can we do about it?

Why don’t you read the QR in this text. You’ll be directed to a Google page showing many examples of QR art. I personally like those experiments as art always searches for new ways, explores borders and enlightens us to think out of the box.

A business pal of mine sent me the latest QR white paper by Deloitte the other day. I really want to share that with you. Please, after having read it, please tell me what you think of QR and what you see as its potency. You may reach me at:


Written by Kees Winkel

March 31, 2011 at 11:55

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