Quit with the QR Craziness Already
The new Indian take-out place around the corner from my office is barely larger than the proverbial hole in the wall, and offers three main dishes that you can personalize with ample side options to make them your own.
I was waiting in line at this place—more fast-food joint than sit-down restaurant, really—a few days after the grand opening admiring the huge QR code on their soft-drink cups. And I just could not help myself.
“What is this on your cups?” I asked the friendly student behind the counter. After a few seconds of silence and a dumbfounded look, he tried to explain that this was a thing that you could use with your phone and get “somewhere.” His words, not mine.
I then turned to the friend I had dragged along to this new dining experience and asked her if she knew. Nope, she was no help either; had never seen these things and did not know what to do with them.
So when was the last time you scanned a QR code? Now be honest. If it was less than three weeks ago, are you hooked now? Not to worry, I do not really expect you to answer. But ask your friends. Do they know what to do with these things? Do they have the software? Do they know what this funny square thing is even called?
Chances are none of them do.
Many statistics tell us that the number of people who are scanning QR codes is rising. But who are these people…and rising compared to what?
Asking consumers in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and France, a study conducted by independent research firm Forrester Research in 2012 showed that on average, 15 percent of consumers had scanned a QR code. A dramatic increase from the 1 percent and 5 percent we have seen in 2010 and 2011, respectively, but by no means has it reached anything you’d call a tipping point.
Sabine Lenz is the founder of PaperSpecs.com, the first online paper database and community specifically designed for paper specifiers.
Growing up in Germany, Sabine started her design career in Frankfurt, before moving to Australia and then the United States. She has worked on design projects ranging from corporate identities to major road shows and product launches. From start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, her list of clients included Oracle, Sun Microsystems, Deutsche Bank, IBM and KPMG.
Seeing designers struggle worldwide to stay current with new papers and paper trends inspired Sabine to create PaperSpecs, an independent and comprehensive Web-based paper database and weekly e-newsletter. She is also a speaker on paper issues and the paper industry. Some refer to her lovingly as the "paper queen" who combines her passion for this wonderful substrate called paper with a hands-on approach to sharing her knowledge.