the year 2005, while I was in middle school, I communicated in ways that are now
thought to be “outdated.” I would go home from school and call my friends on my
house phone and tell them to go on aim chat or to look at my new MySpace
picture. Five years later, if someone told me to go on MySpace, I’d tell them
that I deleted mine and to go look me up on Facebook!! Time is an interesting
thing because as it changes and goes on, so does technology.
Five years ago, while I was in eighth
grade, there were only a select few people that had cell phones. Those that did
have a phone were envied by almost everyone in the class! I begged and begged
my parents to get me one, but they kept on saying no. Towards the end of eighth
grade, my parents gave me a cell phone for my fourteenth birthday. I thought I
was the coolest kid in school! I never text messaged on my phone, used it for a
calendar, or surfed the web. I simply used my cell phone to call my friends
house phones or to call my parents and let them know what I was doing. But as
expected, technology has evolved.
Using your cell phone to actually make
calls is now out-weighed by the ability to almost anything with the touch of a
button. You can download applications and change your Facebook status simultaneously on the same device. I have the
Blackberry Torch, which is a 2010 version of a smart phone. I can download just
about anything on my cell phone. I can download an application that starts my
car in the winter, or I can use my calendar to keep track of my assignments
that are due. Using a phone to simply make calls is almost unheard of now.
I was reading a magazine a few weeks ago,
and in the corner of an advertisement, I noticed a small square box with a
black and white pattern inside that looked similar to a barcode. Underneath the
box in small writing, it said “QR Code- Scan above.” I had no idea what this
meant. So I took out my laptop and googled it (like most people in this
generation do!!) According to beetagg.com, a QR code is, a barcode
that is readable by QR scanners
with a camera
, or with a smart phone.
The process is simple. First, you have to
download the QR reader application. If you have a smart phone, in your specific
phone carrier’s app store you will find numerous versions, and in most cases,
the app is free. One of the most popular applications that can do this feature
is called “bee-tagg.” After the application is installed, the rest is easy and
up to you. When you see a QR code, you just go to the scanner app, and it takes
a picture of the code and instantly sends you where the advertisers wanted you
to go. The code consists of black squiggles arranged in a square pattern with a
white background. The information encoded in the small box can be anything from
simple text about a product/company, or it could send you directly to a
specific website relating to a certain product that they are trying to sell.
More and more companies are using this new form
of advertising, and I think that in 5 years, we will begin to see QR codes as a
major way to find out information on companies and products. This new form of
advertising is going to overpower any other type of marketing. “Companies all
over the world are beginning to use QR codes to reach out to consumers. A lot
of people are taking interest in it, and we are getting a very positive
reaction.” Michael Hoffman the CEO of the Toro Company said this when asked
about Toro’s recent addition to QR codes in their advertisements.
According to www.outputlinks.com
, QR codes have been used in billboard ads,
event ticketing and tracking, in-store displays, business cards, print ads, trade-show
management, contests, websites, email marketing, and couponing. Marketers are
showing extra interest in this new technology because it gives them the ability
to measure consumers’ response rates, which in turn helps them with their
return on investment calculations. That helps companies justify the amount of
spending they need to do on marketing and advertising.
Companies in Japan have been using QR codes for
the last few years and major companies in the United States are jumping on the
bandwagon as well. Worldwide corporations like Walt Disney have been using QR
codes a lot on their advertising. For example, Disney has been using the codes
on their advertising for their college intern program. On the posters
distributed throughout colleges all over the United States, they have a QR code
in the bottom left corner. If you scan the code with your QR reader, it
instantly sends you to a website with information and a full video explaining
more about the program. There was even a link to an application that you could
immediately submit. Disney is also using QR codes in their TV commercials. For
example, during a commercial for a Disney movie or show, a code pops up in the
corner. If you walk up to your television and scan it, you are immediately sent
to a link where you can purchase whatever it is they are trying to sell.
One of the cool things about the QR codes is
that it not only benefits the companies directly, but the customers. I believe
that this is the future of shopping as well. In a few years, we won’t need to
carry around credit cards and cash; because of QR codes, they will be
unnecessary. If you are perusing through the newspaper or browsing through a
magazine and you see a product you want to know more about or even purchase
that option will be available with the touch of a button. For example, if you
are flipping through a fashion magazine, and you see a model wearing a shirt
you are interested in, you just scan the QR code and you will be directed to a
link that will allow you to buy it. The future of QR will include the option to
connect the code with your bank account. This will permit you to buy things
directly and efficiently.
QR codes are not just for big companies to use,
several people are beginning to utilize them for their own benefit. Fastcompany.com
talks about the advantages of using QR codes to promote anything from your self
to a personal or private business. Gina Trapani owns her own small flower
company and instead of passing out business cards with all of her information
on it, she has a card with her picture on it and a QR code underneath it.
Not only are QR codes helpful in advertising,
they have also been know as “going green marketing.” Society now is all about
“going green” and conserving things to better preserve our world. QR readers
help save paper because you don’t need to print off receipts or pages and pages
of brochures; you can just view and save them electronically. This can also help
with bill and transaction organization.
are also using QR codes in a more interactive way. Writers Tony Trov and Johnny Zito make comics for the website
comixology.com. It is an online only comic book series that allows you to
download the different issues straight to your phone. Recently, Trov and Zito have
started using QR codes to keep their readers involved. At the end of every
comic, they have a QR code that readers can scan and find out bonus material
about that specific story, or find out a sneak peek about the next one.
world is changing and so is technology. In 5 years QR codes are going to play a
major part in the lives of consumers. I think that is it important to embrace
new technology and it is our job to use our ideas to find ways to improve it.
As the years pass, technology is going to affect us all.