2D (QR) Codes Now Testing in San Francisco
2D, or QR (quick response), codes are a type of barcode symbology that can hold much more information than a standard 1D barcode. They are already fully implemented in Japan, and are primarily used for marketing and advertising purposes. While the US hasn’t quite caught on to the QR code trend, the first large-scale test is now being executed in San Francisco.
Online guides such as Citysearch are placing QR codes in the windows of stores and restaurants that they review, allowing consumers to simply take a picture of the code with their mobile phone, which then brings up Citysearch’s review of the restaurant. More than 500 businesses in the San Francisco area will take part in Citysearch’s implementation of QR codes.
However, in order for consumers to be able to read the QR codes with their cell phones, they will first need to download software from Scanbury Inc. This software will then be loaded onto their cell phones, allowing them to simply take a picture of the QR code with their phone’s camera. Typically, if you wanted to use your phone’s browser to find a restaurant review, it would take you a lot of clicks, which depending on your network, could take a lot of time. Citysearch’s QR code solution requires just one click, and from there you can decide if the restaurant is for you.
Scanbury and Citysearch hope that this QR code pilot program in San Francisco will convince American consumers to catch on to the Japanese QR code trend. In order to ensure this happens, Scanbury would like to begin embedding their software in future cell phones, eliminating the hurdle of downloading it for consumers. So far, about 70 different phones support the software, and users pay regular cellular data charges when they access a web page via a QR code.
If QR code technology catches on in San Francisco, it could revolutionize the way Americans shop, dine, and go about their daily lives. Keep your eye out for QR codes, hopefully coming to a city near you!