Ask the Board – February 3, 2020 | JOSHUA GOODWIN


“What technology will replace Quick Response (QR) codes in the future?”

As technology continues to progress at a faster rate than ever, certain technologies tend to be forgotten and left by the wayside. One of those is the QR code. A QR code (short for Quick Response code) is essentially a more complex version of a barcode. When a QR code is scanned, it is deciphered with the help of a smartphone app. This way, the image can be uniquely programmed to redirect a customer to a predetermined application or website. While this is a powerful tool for retailers, the QR code technology is old.  It was developed in 1994 by Toyota to scan components and vehicles quickly.  While it’s efficient, the technology needs to be replaced. The question is, with what?

Near Field Communications, or NFC technology, is a possible replacement for QR Codes. Like QR codes, NFC technology can direct you to company websites and can offer incentives and loyalty deals as well as promotions.  Furthermore, and more importantly, the functions that NFC technology makes possible are not found on QR codes.  Some of these features include making payments and purchases by linking up your credit and debit cards. It’s likely that the local shops, retail stores and transportation hubs you may frequent already accept NFC technology. Unlike QR codes, NFC technology does not require additional apps or downloads.  Most phones come with an NFC chip already installed. This chip is more power-efficient than other wireless communication types. Lastly, NFC tags are easily amended. Old information is quickly edited and updated making NFC more flexible than QR codes.  A brand new QR code would need to be created to allow for the same type of updates.

While it may take some time for NFC to be fully implemented, it’s clear why it is a more efficient technology than QR codes and one that will make communication between consumers and businesses more fluid.

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Digital Video Specialist / Digital Signage Administrator

End User Council

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