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QR Codes: A Point of View

QR Codes: A Point of View

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Published by Digital Lab
A white paper presented by Edwin Philogene for the Digital Lab covering the origins, mechanics, applications and prospects of QR Code and 2D code technology.
A white paper presented by Edwin Philogene for the Digital Lab covering the origins, mechanics, applications and prospects of QR Code and 2D code technology.

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Published by: Digital Lab on Nov 18, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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07/10/2013

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QR CODES
 A POINT OF VIEW
PREPARED BY EDWIN PHILOGENE FOR
 
2
QR codes, otherwise known as quick response codes, are the preeminent open standardfor a growing category of graphical 2D (two-dimensional) codes that are increasingly beingutilized by marketers
across various industries to inform and engage with digitally savvy consumeraudiences around the globe.
QR codes can be quickly read with camera-equipped mobile phones (usually smartphones)loaded with the proper code-reading software.
Once read, data embedded in the QR codes caninstruct the phone to automatically execute a number of tasks, such as download data from the codeitself, retrieve a mobile Web page or make the request from a remote server to download a video. Asa result,
QR and 2D codes are generally used for a variety of applications, from advertisingand lead generation to ticketing and couponing.
 First appearing in Japan in the mid-1990’s, QR codes have since been widely adopted in thehistorically advanced mobile market for a variety of commercial uses. Although QR code adoptionhas traditionally not been as robust outside of Japan and Asia, due to recent advances in mobileinfrastructure and handsets in the American market, a new wave of commercial interest in 2D codeshas taken hold in the U.S. In line with this,
a growing number of marketers ranging from CalvinKlein and Chevy to Starbucks and Unilever have been experimenting with QR and 2D codecampaigns within the past year.
 
While QR codes are the most widely adopted open standard for 2D codes globally, in theU.S., several proprietary 2D code standards are being introduced
and promoted by their parentcorporations, including Microsoft Tag from Microsoft and EZcode from Scanbuy. Compared to QRcodes, proprietary codes hold both distinct advantages and disadvantages.
In our view, the positive alignment of four key factors – consumer value perception,technological readiness, widespread publisher support and a unied 2D code standard –is needed for successful deep adoption of QR/2D codes in the American market.
While weassess the current environment for consumer value perception and widespread publisher supportas positive in the U.S., we see further progress is needed on the tech readiness and unied 2D codestandard fronts, which we see as neutral and negative, respectively.QR codes, and the overall category of 2D codes, have proven their value in Japan but are still anascent and promising technology in America that, if adopted in earnest, would provide marketers witha novel channel for bridging online and ofine behavior for consumer engagement. As the technology’sstory continues to unfold in the U.S.,
we recommend in-market experimentation through alimited “test and learn” approach that leverages other technologies, such as SMS andmobile Web, and favors the open QR code standard over proprietary ones.
SUMMARY 
EXECUTIVE
 
3
QR codes, or quick response codes, are two-dimensional barcodes thatcan be created to hold small bits of data such as URL strings, phonenumbers, e-mail addresses or service commands that are activated onmobile phones. First created and introduced by Japanese corporationDenso-Wave in 1994, the QR code was originally used to track vehicleparts in vehicle manufacturing (Denso-Wave is a member of the Toyotagroup of companies and is also the original patent holder).QR codes can be read by cameraphones (typically smartphones) withQR code readers that capture the image of the codes and synthesizethe data instruction embedded in the code. Over the past several years,they have gained traction globally (especially in Asia) as a means forbrand marketers and publishers to engage with and provide informationto consumers. A QR code can be produced on any surface withsufcient contrast.On a geographical basis, Japan is the largest user of QR codes, as ithas long been in use in the market for a number of applications, bothcommercial and consumer in nature, on a widespread basis. QR codesare also utilized in parts of Europe and have been adapted for use ina number of applications, including everything from advertising andbusiness cards to ticketing and apparel. Technically, the term “QR code” refers to the de facto open standard forthe broad high-level category of codes known as 2D codes (standingfor two dimension codes). In addition to QR codes, there are otherproprietary code standards, with various levels of adoption, currentlyfound in the marketplace.With the recent surge in growth in smartphone adoption in the U.S., QRand 2D codes are increasingly being adopted and experimented with bymarketers for consumer engagement campaigns in the American market.Overall, however, awareness of QR code technology and ownership of QR-code-reader-equipped phones in the U.S. remains low.
QR CODES?
 WHAT ARE
 
OUT OF HOME
 
PRINT
 
BUSINESS CARDS
 
 APPAREL
 
IN–STORE
 
ON AIR
QR CODES HAVE GROWN TO TAKE ON A BROAD VARIETY OF APPLICATIONS.
USE YOUR QRCODE READER-EQUIPPEDSMARTPHONETO SCAN THISCODE NOW!

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