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Are QR codes still relevant?

Published November 19, 2014 at 6:41 am

The QR Code, a marketing tool for several years, could be poised for a comeback.

For years now, consumers have been exposed to QR codes that allow them to link to websites from a mobile device: Since their inception, these designs have been used in innovative and creative use, directing new customers to promotional material. However, over the past few years,  these codes, which can be printed on anything from in-store signs to mailers, seems to have declined.

But that’s not to say that they can’t still be powerful tools for conversion , as a recent press release from the journal Optica disclosed. According to this statement, a team of optical engineering researchers from the University of Connecticut recently discovered that QR codes could actually let users bypass the internet entirely and access content directly through the codes.

While this would require new technology for smartphones and could be some time in the making, Bahram Javidi, the lead author of the paper, said that this innovative strategy could change the way that mobile users process information while on the go.

“The QR codes we developed store compressed and encrypted images, which can be easily scanned, decrypted, and decompressed by commercial smartphones for secure 3-D visual communication,” Javidi said. He adds that “In our proposed method, we store self-contained slices of data in the QR codes themselves. It’s then possible to receive and visualize 3-D images without using the Internet.”

Even if this proposal doesn’t lead to new technology being adopted, standard QR codes could also be useful if they are created as part of a coordinated automatic marketing campaign. It all depends on how clients distribute their material and reach out to potential customers. If all of the marketing information leads to the same place, the campaign will be more effective.

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