How QR codes are morphing into augmented reality

Is AR Replacing QR?

It’s probably fair to say that QR codes – otherwise known as ‘quick response’ codes (the little squares printed onto various items and designed to be scanned by smartphones) haven’t quite taken off in the way that their endorsers might have expected them to. It was said that in 2011, only 6.2% of US smartphone owners had ever scanned a QR code with their device. There were several reasons why QR codes might be deemed to have failed as a marketing tool, and many companies that offered them out to the public later found that that scanning them was borderline impossible in certain instances. For instance, Red Bull once ran a subway-based QR campaign only to find that phone owners could not use the barcodes due to a lack of data connectivity underground, whilst FedEx printed the codes on the side of their delivery vans, apparently ignoring the fact that attempting to scan the QR codes whist a vehicle was in motion was never likely to be anything less than futile.

Better Content Needed

Nonetheless, there have been several successful QR ad campaigns, and some haven’t given up on the technology just yet. Many users found the process of scanning a code to be fussy, and also found that once a code was activated; the content that was unlocked was nothing to shout about – often leading users to nothing more interesting than a company website.

Enhanced Brand Engagement

Augmented reality is being seen as a more efficient alternative to QR codes, and it’s said that it can deliver video, 2D and 3D imagery and animation. AR is seen as a way of bringing customers closer to a brand, and as companies assess what works and what doesn’t, they can become better placed to target their audiences more effectively, reproducing the real world in a more convincing manner.




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