Econsultancy author Christopher Ratcliff believes there are many reasons why QR codes have fallen from grace: dangerous placement, codes leading to sites that aren’t optimised, or codes leading to pages different from those that were initially promised – to name but a few. So, if QR codes are dead – what’s next?
Augmented Reality is already proving hugely popular. Ikea’s AR app, for instance, lets customers place any piece of furniture from the company’s catalogue in their own house and see how it looks. Another alternative is near field communication (NFC). This technology (in essence an information exchange between two devices) allows mobile phones to act as debit or credit cards, as well as loyalty or travel cards. iBeacon is similar to NFC, but it has a longer range of operation. It was developed by Apple and can already be found in many of its stores. The technology gives customers information about products and promotions as they enter a store.
Clickable paper is another substitute for QR codes. Created just a couple of years ago, this paper lets users click an image, which then takes them to the content they are interested in. As the information is displayed, the screen also shows relevant buttons and links. And don’t forget Google Goggles, an app that lets people find all sorts of information about a photographed object, much like a reversed Google search.
Finally, there’s another code – the SnapTag. By adding a circle around it, it can turn a company logo into an adaptive tool. The circle has breaks that can be moved into thousands of different positions, transforming it into a new code every time. This allows marketers to use the circle for a variety of promotional messages and target different audiences.