The continual abuse of QR codes must stop | (I’dont think about mentioned down), gabrielcatalano

Version 1 QR code example
This is a guest post by Deaglan MacFarland, a Digital Strategic Planner at multi-channel communications agency The Blue Hive. You can follow MacFarland on Twitter @DMacFarland

Marketers are abusing quick response (QR) codes left, right and centre. Examples are rife: take QR codes in the London Underground, where people have no 3G or Wi-Fi signal, or worse still, QR codes on gravestonesscarves (inane), or on billboards that no one can actually scan without climbing over a motorway. These are all examples of marketers fundamentally misunderstanding consumer behaviour.

The #QRFail in the London Underground mentioned above should not be confused with the dazzling use of QR in Seoul‘s underground train platforms where Tesco put virtual shop shelves along the passenger platforms for busy consumers to shop using smart phones. The difference between Seoul and London is that consumers in the former had ubiquitous Wi-Fi access in the underground, where in the latter they were stranded without connection.

According to Google Trends, around one in five FTSE 250 companies use QR codes right now. A recent study by ComScore, states that only 14 million American mobile device users have interacted with QR — less than five percent. Meanwhile only 12 percent of UK consumers have used QR successfully. The numbers are too low to justify scaled deployment.

Stories of the demise of QR codes are common in the press. This perception is strengthened by the arrival of mobile visual search (MVS), which uses actual objects instead of barcodes as the physical-digital hyperlink. MVS claims to be more user-friendly, but tools such as Blippar and Google Goggles still require a dedicated application to work effectively.

However, MVS is more secure than QR. With QR codes, there is no way of knowing where the code is going to take you — to a legitimate site, malicious app or phishing site. In some cases, infected QR codes can download an app that adds a hidden SMS texting charge to your mobile phone bill. They can also be used to read the data stored on your smartphone — a worrying security risk. The good news is that MVS’s encryption modality eliminates the opportunity for malicious code to be downloaded to your smartphone.

QR marketers are examples of groups of people that seem to be living in an alternate universe by ignoring the facts. Before looking to deploy QR, companies must think carefully about how the end user will benefit and if it adds value in useful or entertaining ways.

3 comentarios en “The continual abuse of QR codes must stop | (I’dont think about mentioned down), gabrielcatalano

  1. Head Hurtz

    Very broken article. Difficult to follow.

    It’s almost like you copied and pasted from a few other websites and left it at that.

    Me gusta

  2. Pingback: QR Codes (Updated): From Urinals And Bus Stops to National Parks to Art, Shopping and Tombstones « Pondering Technology

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