The COVID pandemic has accelerated the use of technologies like Zoom and Amazon’s AWS. And tech companies have benefited from the increased use of technology to help cope with the new COVID culture we find ourselves in. But, the use of QR codes hasn’t received much fanfare or catapulted the revenues or shares of any tech companies. But companies are finding that increasing their use of QR codes is transforming how we do things in a number of ways.
Why are QR codes one of those technologies which is being used much more?
Because they are free, can be instantly generated by anyone, and they help create safer spaces. And, some tech companies have QR code generators within their technology, which makes their technology more useful, but it doesn’t generate a lot more revenue for them.
QR code stands for Quick Response code and it is the new form of barcode which looks like a matrix of black and white squares. There are different sites, like this one, that allow you to generate a QR code for a phone number, URL, SMS, share contact data, provide WiFi access codes, and other things.
It’s free and the QR codes last forever. It takes less than a minute to generate one and you can instantly download the QR code image. Typically QR codes have been used in emails, on websites, and on blog posts, but you also see them on packaging materials as they are replacing barcodes.
QR codes can also come in different colors, have their shapes modified, and have logos added to them. Here is a website that shows some of the possibilities and shows the code required to generate those different QR code looks. Just like in the image below.
Some companies, like EMS, have QR code generators to help their customers evolve the management of their building facilities to a more touchless environment.
You need a barcode scanner to scan a barcode, but QR code scanners have been available as mobile apps that can be downloaded for years. These apps use your phone’s camera to scan the QR code. But as detailed in this blog, “Did Apple Just Resurrect QR Codes?”, you no longer need a QR code reader app on your phone. A quote from the blog:
“As part of the September iOS 11 update, Apple integrated a native QR code reader in its camera app. Meaning over 700 million iPhone users can aim their camera at a QR code and instantly be prompted with a web link, map location, contact card, or another piece of data. You can do anything with QR codes, from automatically logging into a wifi network, to instantly sending a pre-populated message, to downloading an app. They can trigger YouTube videos, landing pages, detailed calendar invites, or in-store payments.”
So no app is required with iOS 11. Just point your camera at the QR code to read it. And android phones have a similar capability.
The first common use of QR codes in response to the COVID crisis which you may have experienced was going into a restaurant that had reopened. Instead of being handed a menu, you scanned a QR code as you entered the restaurant. The QR code scan linked to the restaurant menu which you could now look over on your phone.
Touchless menus. Less touch means a safer environment.
And touchless is a key driver of the increased use of QR codes in retail, schools, workplace and other buildings where people congregate.
The use of QR Codes is also transforming building operations by:
To learn more, read this blog.