Arthur on QR Codes

Arthur has something to say about QR codes in today’s Sheldon strip:

Click here to read the full strip.

[Click here to read the whole strip.]

The thing of it is, I don’t think he’s necessarily wrong. QR codes are interesting because you can actually smash quite a bit of data inside those little images, and they’re kind of handy if you have a ready-to-go scanner app on your phone.

The trouble is, QR codes are unsightly. They’re just complicated enough that they have to be a certain size in order to maintain the proper resolution for your phone to scan them. That means they have a tendency to take up a not insignificant chunk of real estate in your advertising, putting a literal black mark on your otherwise hard work.

QR codes are an innovative technology and an interesting use of today’s smartphone technology, but from what I’ve seen, they’re still struggling to gain any real traction in our culture. I see a lot of marketers putting the codes all over their advertising, but I haven’t really seen a lot of consumers taking the time to actually scan them. I think this is due, in part, to the fact that it’s still not really convenient to scan the codes, since it is a multi-step process. Personally, I’d like to see QR codes revised a bit to make them more compact, like a bar code, so that they use a smaller footprint in advertising. I also tend to think that, in order for them to really take off, the technology is going to have to adapt somehow to include a passive scanner that works in the background of your phone so that all you have to do is launch your camera app, scan the code, and have it automatically sent to the parser (though, technically, launching a QR reader is probably the same general process, depending on your choice of app).

Have anything to add to the conversation?