I think QR codes are a massive waste of time. They’re over hyped, a pain to use, and just not that interesting. Here three examples of why QR codes are a waste of time, and why I’m sick of hearing about them:
1. Back in January, I came across an article in the alumni magazine of a New England independent school. The article was an alumni profile and highlighted some of the work he was doing for this school specifically the new QR code he had created for the school.
Excited, I pulled out my iPhone. Downloaded a QR app on a slow 3G signal. Snapped a photo of the code and waited for the magic.
The code brought me to the school’s Website. Not a mobile version of the Web site, but the school’s Web site.
2. Riding on a Metro bus in Washington D.C., I saw a QR code on a poster of the bus route. Thinking it would give me a similar map formatted for a mobile phone, I searched through my iPhone apps trying to find the QR code app that I had downloaded back in January. Sifting through folders with my thumb, I finally came across it, and snapped a photo.
It brought me to a mobile site that asked for my comments as to the quality of my Metro experience.
3. We own a Ford and got one of their magazines in the mail the other day. In the market for a new car, I saw a QR code next to a photo of one of the new Ford Explorers, and I tried to give it a shot. Sifting through the folders on my iPhone again, I could not find the QR code app that I had downloaded sixth months ago.
I gave up.
Investing in QR codes at this moment is a total waste resources. Right now the technology isn’t well implemented, does not meet consumer expectations, and the readers is not seamlessly integrated into smartphones. Until I can take my phone, just take a photo, and the be quickly and automatically brought to content that is interesting, useful, and exclusively available through that code, then there’s really no point.
Frankly, I have no idea how education could use these things. Campus maps? Maybe, but only if you’re a huge university with a lot of acreage. Stories about buildings? Not compelling. It is rare case that a building on a college campus is compelling and interesting. Free screen savers or other give-a-ways? Now you’re thinking too highly of yourself and reading your own headlines.
Save your money. Save your time. Save your resources. Skip the QR codes.