The QR code, or quick response code, is simply a two-dimensional bar code that came into being in 1994 and found a large audience in Japan. Stateside, however, QR codes — while clever for tying real-world objects to online content — have always remained on the outskirts of public awareness. Nonetheless, we’ve seen QR codes employed for creative purposes. The Detroit Red Wings interactive programs and the giant QR codes in Times Square come to mind. Each of these serves as prime examples of how QR codes could be on the verge of their breakout moment. What the technology needs in order to finally make it to the mainstream are applications that take the nerd-factor out of the QR code scan, and drive home the potential rewards of seeing a code, scanning it, and then engaging with the served-up content. Stickybits and SCVNGR are startups that integrate the barcode scan in intelligent and fun ways. They’re poised to propel the movement of the next generation QR code, and here’s why.
Considering that most people would rather lose their wallet than misplace their cell phone, it’s fitting that the mobile world is quickly becoming a new hub for business. For many of us, our cell phone never leaves our side. It holds a place at the dinner table, is easily accessible in your bag’s front pocket, and often, somehow it even manages to end up sharing your pillow at night. Busy schedules mean people are often on the move and when marketers and companies can’t reach consumers at their computers, on TV, before the previews at the movies, with billboards, or magazine and newspaper ads, they must feel assured that they can still reach them on their cell phones.