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 think in a way, QR codes can be great for sending one way information from a product to a device.
This is just a fraction of what NFC will be offering when it gains wide spread accpetance and usage, but the only hardware needed for a QR reader is a camera, which means every smart mobile device on the marke is QR reader ready.
It can be used to get instant product information, price and anything else.
The only limitation like i said is that the information can only go one way, but in that, it think it's got potential.
QR maybe will be really impacted by NFC. For sure, it was a new steps forward on technology and services to provide especially within market mobile, but right now the feeling (or my personal feeling, at least), is that paradigm will be overtaken by NFC, especially for the portion limited to payment.
It is right TIOLUWA, QR could allow our day-by-day life to be easier. Click on the code and go ahead following a dynamic info, for example, could reduce a lot time spent to look for. Basically, a good example is about underground or bus timetable. It is not necessary to replace it at any stops, it is enough to leave there a QR code and then go by that code throught information needed.
These 2D bar codes were used at the last two trade shows I attended. Attendees had a badge with their registration / contact information, and the booth locations were provided scanners. If someone attending the show wanted more information or a follow-up contact, they could allow their badge to be scanned.
Well the major advantage is that 2D bar code can hold considerably more data than 1D bar codes.
Blackberry messanger can use QR to pick contact details rather than using PIN, it can also encode URL, images, and extended list of characters including japanese characters and so much more. a QR code can store up to 7,000 numerical charcteres in a single image, and 2kb of binary data.
"Do you think QR codes can be misused because we usually get some clue as to whether a URL looks real or spammy, whereas with a QR code,"
QR codes can be hacked and users can be redirected to the wrong website . According to this article "QR codes have a security flaw and it’s not too difficult to turn one QR code into another with just a bit of OHP film and some Tippex."
hacking QR codes is only a risk where the code is pasted in a public place where it can be physically vandalised. i don't see how a QR code in a magazine with thousands of copies in print can be hacked, or how a QR code on a website can be hacked (except of course the site is hacked itself and the actual image changed by the hacker).
So for printed QR codes, once the code wasn't swaped before print, any hacking will be physically visible. for online QR codes, the entire website will have to be hacked first.
magg, thank you for posting the informative article. Yeh I belive you are right, this couls be a big thing to actually know the information of any product. soon this would go into pack & move business also.
I am a technologist, so I enjoy seeing new technologies emerge that can change the way we do things in an everyday basis, but is QR one of them?I remember several years ago how RFID was going to change the world and yet it hasn’t been adopted on a wide scale as expected, although I do believe RFID has benefits from tradition barcodes.As for QR codes, I personally think they are cool, but I am not sure the average user or consumer will take the time to use them regularly.First, the user has to download a QR reader app, then the user will have to take the time a launch the QR reader and take a picture of the QR code.Then the user has to have the patience to wait for the browser to launch and view the information based on the QR code.It may not seem like much, but for people on the go, which most people are, it may be too much to ask for.There must be a nice incentive for scanning QR codes if it has a chance for wider adoption.
I think one thing that can be done to make the QR app easy to use is to integrate in the the phones default camera features. It is alot faster to launch the dafault camera app of most smart phones, most have a dedicated button for it.
So if a QR feature is integrated into the camera function, all one has to do is start the camera, and select QR from the options.
That is alot faster than having to lunch a dedicated QR app from a long list of installed apps.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.