QR Codes are literally everywhere. They can be found on business cards, advertisements, magazines, and even on product packaging. I find QR code technology to be pretty awesome because you can generate them for free online and you can slap them anywhere to promote anything. I know that may sound like a pretty broad statement, but it is the truth, and QR codes have very little limitations. The key drawbacks are that if you do not own a smart phone, or a phone without a QR reader, you are pretty much stuck wondering what’s behind all those black and white misplaced boxes. You’ll be left thinking “where is that code going to take me if I scan it?” You’ll never know. The other drawback is (and this doesn’t apply to everybody) is that I have pretty shaky hands, so getting my phone steady enough to pick up the code could be quite a task at times, which leads me to just abandon the mission altogether out of annoyance.
Google decided to replace the use of QR codes with NFC (near field communication) technology. In fact, in Google Places, users and business owners will no longer be able to create a printable QR code for their Google Place listings. Users thought that this may have been a bug, but it turns out that Google officially decided that they are moving past the bar code to newer and greater things. What’s newer and greater? NFC, obvi. Near Field Communication is similar to RFID technology in that it enables data to be exchanged wirelessly over a short distance.
What Google is trying to do is similar to Yelp and Foursquare; they are putting RFID embedded stickers that say “Recommend on Google” on storefronts, where you wave your phone in front of it and it will automatically pick up your recommendation and submit it online. Google is allowing for users to skip the step on programs like Yelp and Facebook where in order to check in they have to sort through a long list of places that are within a mile radius. Now all you do is swipe, and you can receive perks such as discounts and recognition all over town that you are a repeat customer.
So far the system is still in its pilot phase, and few phones have the ability to pick up RFID and NFC (like the Nexus S), but Google is looking to incorporate the technology in its newer phone models. Could the new iPhone be following suit? We’ll see. All I know is that I will be able to find out a lot about my friends based on how often they frequent certain stores….