QR Codes: 10 Years Left to Live

While we’ve been speculating the end of QR codes for years, their inventor Masahiro Hara speculates that new technology, such as better image recognition software, will most likely make the barcode obsolete in a decade.

Hara invented the QR code in 1994 in order to increase the amount of information that could be stored on a barcode label. Standard 1D barcodes, such as the UPC only hold around 20 alphanumeric characters, but by making a 2D barcode, Hara and his team of researchers were able to increase this by approximately 250 times!

QR codes are currently used in warehousing and manufacturing, for airline tickets, and various marketing campaigns and they can be read with any mobile device with a camera, or a dedicated reader.

Although QR codes have proved to be an excellent technology, even their inventor believes they will be overtaken by near-field communication and/or sophisticated image recognition software.

“I think there may be further development in the area of image processing, so they will be able to see directly,” he said. “It would be great if we can get away with this code that’s printed on paper and recognise the thing itself. That’s an idea I’ve been having in my mind for years,” said Hara.

What do you think? Will QR codes be replaced? And if so, how quickly? Share your thoughts by commenting on this post, or on our Facebook or twitter pages.