Wednesday, October 03, 2012

No More "When" for QR Codes. Now "IF"

QR codes are still not at the tipping point, I'm afraid. And they should have been by now -- it's the Fall of 2012.

The technology costs little to utilize, so there's still room to experiment (at least with the right tech-savvy audience), but law firms are right to be wary about their use in important campaigns.

Here are a couple strikes against to consider:
  • Apple isn't building a QR reader application natively into iOS. This means a good portion of smartphone and tablet owners must somehow be inspired to install a reader.
  • More often than not, QR codes duplicate information or actions that are already available without using this particular technology. It takes no longer to type a URL into one's phone than it does to capture one of these indie-Rorschach tests.
  • From this Mashable piece: "less than 5% of the American public has scanned a QR code." Now, factor in the Canadian-lag on technology, and ask the question: Is adoption where it needs to be to build a QR code into your campaign?  
I was pretty hopeful early on, as seen in this Slaw post from 2010. And admittedly, there have been some interesting applications by firms, especially in print advertising. However, if the uptake on people scanning QR codes hasn't risen above 5% in the two years since I posted that piece on Slaw, the adoption rate simply isn't high enough.

I could be wrong, but it really doesn't look like QR codes will go mainstream in North America. 

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