Will Augmented Reality Leap-Frog the QR Code?

Mark Schaefer puts some interesting points forth as to why QR codes may be a short lived sensation. Schaefer is correct when he says that adding a barrier or doorway to any product will reduce the usage, however in the long term the QR code actually increases the speed in which people can enter a URL on their phone. For the foreseeable future, people will want to access websites on their phone, and the QR code is simply a quicker way to do that.

There continues to be a steady buzz about QR codes, those bar code-looking thingys that can be scanned by a smart phone to link you to added content, a website or perhaps even a coupon at the point of purchase. Here’s the Wikipedia definition.

I’m not an expert in QR codes – or anything for that matter — but I’ve been around long enough to have a good idea if something is going to work or not. I’m thinking the buzz on QR codes may be short-lived – and I’d like to explain why by telling you a short story about a beer can.

For the full article: http://www.webpronews.com/topnews/2011/01/31/qr-codes-have-the-beer-can-problem

Stu Fleishman then posts an interesting response.

One thing to be careful not to overlook is the INTENDED functionality of the QR codes vs. Augmented Reality in terms of business / revenue.

You see, both of these options are merely Access Points to reach mobile content generated by the business.

From my limited experience with AR and more significant experience with QR, I would say that AR is intended to provide inch deep mile wide marketing. Hold your phone up so your view finder shows the next couple blocks of street you see limited information. This information includes about the hours for a lunch time special, or which dry cleaners speaks English. It does not provide GPS directions to other branches, an interactive menu, or sizes available, or estimated wait time. It’s mostly static information about the location.

Yes, this is marketing in a sense, but it is less driven by any individual store, but more by the AR aggregator trying to show an accurate depiction of options for food or shopping.

The QR Codes are generally more focused on a given business. My firm, Barcode Realty, designs interactive mobile content which can be linked to a QR code, or a mobile website, or a webapp for the Real Estate Industry. Although this interactive, searchable information could be linked to Augmented Reality, it would pull the user out of the AR world to a greater depth of marketing, lead capture, and branding.

In any case, this is my interpretation of QR and AR are both important technological solutions, with different, distinct purposes.

Written By: Alex Camelio (13 Posts)

Alex Camelio is the Co-Founder and President at Barcode Publicity. After graduating from Syracuse University he worked as the Director of Operations for a New York City based tech firm. Upon recognizing the impending boom in mobile technology, Alex formed a company with the core goal of implementing mobile marketing strategies focused on specific industries, with real estate as the primary focus. By building a team of industry partners, mobile development experts, and a passionate sales force, Alex created one of the premier mobile technology firms in North America.


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