“What technology will replace Quick Response (QR) codes in the future?”
The biggest advantage of QR codes is that they are passive by nature, meaning that the intended recipient must actively do something with their device in order to activate the code. This is very important when it comes to security, because a conscious choice needs to be made to allow the device wishing to communicate to proceed with the communication and enable it to provide instruction to the mobile device. There are several other technologies that can be used for the same purpose, and in some cases with even greater ease, but these all require an “open” connection to accept the initial communications from untrusted devices. Apple’s Air Drop is a good example of a secure communication technology that uses both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi protocols to enable communication, but it still requires the end user to have “opened” their device to accept these types of messages. In most cases, the user setting will be enabled only for devices that are known to the recipient, which is almost never the case when interacting with a digital display. Perhaps looking to the future, some combination of the technologies will be used with some “active” action taken by the user to quickly enable the use of a secondary protocol such as Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to more quickly and interactively provide instruction to the device, beyond what is conveyed in a simple QR code.