In my previous blog about AMAZON GO Technologies, I discussed about the present applications of RFID Technology which Amazon is also using, just that we don’t know how amazon is using it. Today, I am going to discuss about one more such technology i.e. Scanning QR CODE.
Try and remember, recently where have you seen this Technology being used! Don’t remember! It is the latest security feature or encryption feature added by WhatsApp in their app. PayTm provides a personal QR Code to all its customers. Amazon is using it for giving access to the customers to enter the Store.
QR Code – Quick Response Codes:
QR is an acronym for Quick Response Codes. These are a type of two-dimensional barcode that can be read using smartphones and dedicated QR reading devices, that link directly to text, emails, websites, phone numbers and more.
In the simplest sense a QR Code is an “image-based hypertext link” that can be used offline – any URL can be encoded into a QR Code so essentially any webpage can be opened automatically as a result of scanning the barcode. QR Codes are encrypted with information which typically contains a call to action such as an invitation to download a mobile application, a link to view a video or an SMS message inviting the viewer to respond to a poll, Emergency Contact Numbers, Contact Address etc.
So, whenever the Smartphone or QR Code reader scans the code, interprets the information and prompts the user to take the interpreted action. It’s up to the user to decide whether to act upon the call to action or ignore it.
There are two types of QR Codes:
- Static QR Codes – These are the most common type, which are used to convey information to the general public. These are often used by advertisers on billboards and posters, on television and in newspapers and magazines.
- Dynamic QR Codes – The owner can edit the code at any time and can target a specific individual for marketing or the respective tasks or actions. Hence, these offer more functionality.
Present Applications of QR Code:
Though we should be thankful to WhatsApp, Amazon and PayTm for introducing the technology to masses, but as a matter of fact this technology has been amidst us for more than a decade. The QR Code System was invented in 1994 by Denso Wave in Japan, for tracking of parts in vehicle manufacturing industry. Since then it has been put to use for endless things as described below:
- Virtual Stores by Tesco: Tesco, also known as HomePlus, which combined the concept of Virtual Stores with QR Codes. They came up with intelligent idea of turning the Advertisements Folder in the subway stations into the Shopping Posters by adding the QR Codes of the products there. Letting their customers to purchase goods online by just scanning the Codes in the poster.
- Funerary Use: In 2008, Ishinokoe in Japan, began to sell tombstones with QR Codes produced by IT DeSign. This is an interesting use of QR Codes, which allows cemetery visitors to scan codes to access digital content of the deceased.
- Encryption: The Japanese Immigration System uses encrypted QR Codes on the landing permission stamps in passports.
- Interactive Board Game: World Park: New York City transformed central park into a giant interactive trivia board game by spreading QR Codes through the park and having visitors unlock and answer questions related to location where they scanned the codes.
- Website Login: They are being used by websites for logging into the accounts. A QR Code is shown on the login page of the website and when a registered user scans it with a verified smartphone, they will automatically be logged in. Google also tested for this login method in January 2012.
- Personalized Use: QR Codes are also used by the professionals and tech loving people on their business cards, which has a URL linked to the individual’s full resume or website.
- QR Codes in Wildlife Sanctuary: In Florida, the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge came up with an interesting idea of putting QR codes in places, which plays an informational video about wildlife on scanning them.
- Life added to Museums: Everyone thinks museum to be a place which is boring and has no life. Well, Sukiennice Museum in Poland changed this concept. With the use of QR codes they give a new dimension to the paintings by telling the “Secrets behind the Paintings” by the painters themselves. On scanning the QR code with the painting a video play for the visitor to know the inside stories of insanity, war, intrigue, deception and much more.
- Creative Ads for Apps: Instagram and Angry birds, both of them have come up with an eye-catching ad technique by using QR Codes. QR Codes of both of them takes you directly to download the app. Hence, QR Code Technology has made its hold in marketing industry also.
- QR Generating app: Companies have come up with app to generate your own QR code which would have the information that you want to encrypt in them. For example, while packaging a QR Code sticker could be attached to the box and on scanning the code you would get the list of objects that it contains. One such example is BoxMeUP.
- Healthcare: Clark Memorial Hospital has also made use of QR codes in their hospital management system. QR codes help them identify patients and gives the access about the complete medical history of it from tests to medicines taken and doctor’s orders. Not just that, by scanning person could edit or update the information.
In this era of Smartphones, with increasing users of it every year in huge numbers, QR codes could have a major impact upon society. Specially because of its such a good success rate in the advertising, marketing and customer service with a wealth of information about product just a scan away. Moreover, this technique could be put to use for many purposes if planned correctly like for maintaining an inventory, tracking the objects, Encryption and Security purposes, Advertising, Virtual Shopping, personalized Greeting Messages and much more. The reason is just that any kind of information could be embedded into it.
Amazon is using this technique for giving access to its customers of entry in their Stores. But what is the other purpose of using it and how this has been combined with other technologies in the store will only be known after it gets launched.
Till then stay connected to know about the other technologies.