Are you ready for the next big thing in instant communication? If you're not familiar with QR codes, they are the “tags” or square bar codes that are showing up on product shelves, print advertising, and even billboards. Smartphone users can download a simple app that will read the codes and then send you to a Website with more information on the product or service.
For example, if you are shopping at Home Depot, you can scan the display of an item and learn more about the item before you buy. If the item is a plant, it will give you much more information than you would get on the plant's original label.
The cool thing is that you can instantly get to the information you are interested in instead of trying to remember the URL of the Website. Even police departments are figuring this out by putting QR codes on their police cars.
QR codes are also turning up in magazines, events, meetings, and trade shows so consumers (or buyers) can instantly get a lot more information about the product that is being advertised. I'm not really sure how they will make our jobs easier, and, to be honest, I have yet to indulge in using the QR codes. However, I do have friends and colleagues who use them daily. If you’re interested in finding more information about QR codes, you can get your fill at The #QRChat Mobile Exchange Daily created by QR code guru Sean Bell.
I would love to hear your thoughts on how this might affect your job or industry.
I recently went to a conference and normally people at conferences exchange contact details with other attendees via business cards. I noticed a guy who'd ask the other person to scan his QR code via a mobile app to save his contact details on the other person's phone. This seemed a pretty cool idea to me. I think this would also save a lot of time and people wouldn't have to manually save numbers on their phone.
Certain specialized applications can benefit greatly from QR technology. Effectively it allows hyperlinking of any text or image within camera range. This opens up a degree of automation that is multi-dimensional in scope.
Of course the code images are vulnerable to alteration. A little bit of vigilance on the part of people displaying the codes should keep misdirection to a minimum.
Dave, I agree with you that the cumbersome steps to get the information on a plant for example when I am in a rush at a grocery store for an inexpensive item. May be if I have to buy electronics that cost a little more.
Yeah, I can see how some items might be sensitive to QR code theft or hacking if it involves financial transactions. Others, though, probably won't be a problem. What I mean is that I probably won't have to worry that someone wants to highjack the QR code stickers on the side of the printer case. Or, who knows, maybe they will want to.
Especially as tablet computers decrease in price and become SOP for businesses, there is a lot of opportunity to use QR codes in manufacturing. We talked about this recently on our blog - - -
"For example, with the ability to create scannable URLs, manufacturers can implement a point-and-browse experience on the shop floor. For example, if work orders listing collections of parts included a QR code, a technician with a tablet could scan the work order, and immediately pull up the latest approved assembly procedure.
This could also be used in inventory management—with QR code-enhanced bins that provide a real-world bookmark for the latest specifications for each part."
This specifically relates to manufacturing, but I think there is similar opportunity for engineers to implement something like this for prototyping.
This is a wonderful technology, a friend shared his experience with Delta airline. He couldn't found his boarding pass when he got to the airport but he had a link sent via sms to his mobile phone, the gate agent just visted the link with his phone and scanned the electronic boarding pass through QR code. It saves the trouble of having a misplaced boarding pass.
QR codes have security flaws, I have heard about how the hackers use image manipulation software with Clear overherad projector film to generate fake QR code image from the original one, and then redirect the information on the original QR codes to the fake.
EBN Dialogue enables and encourages you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Not only editors and journalists, but the entire EBN community is able to comment and ask questions. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats.
Thailand Stages a Comeback Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Microsoft Surface: Potential Winners & Losers What are the implications for the electronics industry supply chain of Microsoft Corp.'s decision to launch its own tablet PC? Join industry veteran and EE Times' systems and OEM expert Rick Merritt on Tuesday, July 3, at 12:00 pm EDT for a Live Chat on this subject.
Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Peter Drucker famously said "Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window." Yet in the razor's-edge world of electronics—with a lean supply chain and just-in-time demands—the need to know the future is vital.
While no one really can accurately predict the future, we can take guidance from another Drucker saying which is the best way to predict the future is to create it.
You've heard the saying "the No. 1 supply chain risk is your people." That hasn't always been the case. But today's complex global supply chain requires a new type of multitalented employee. It's one who understands, finance, marketing, economics, is savvy with technology, graceful with relationships and can think analytically.
Where are these people? Are universities properly preparing the next generation supply chain professionals? How do train your existing workforce for these new, demanding positions?
Brian Fuller, editor-in-chief of EBN, will lead a 60-minute Avnet Velocity panel discussion that will ask and answer these and other questions swirling around today's supply-chain talent challenges.