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MMM Business Card Design v2 - Share on OviOver at Mobile Society, Martin Sauter put forth the question of whether there is a point behind QR codes given their purpose and how they are commonly displayed on websites. I put forth a comment there which answers this, and should at least get those thinking about QR codes to go beyond “just throw it out there.” Here was my comment:

I used to have one on my site, but like you I questioned the usefulness of this. I have since embarked on a different strategy, and this seems to work well.

That strategy is that whenever I am using or communicating disposable items (business cards, announcements, etc), that I use QR codes as a means to merge print-digital associations where an implicit URL might have less significance. For example, the print version of my business card shows no text, but only shows the QR code which is a downloadable vCard itself.

With most of the world missing the initial impact of QR codes, and the quickly approaching image recognition feature coming into mobile and pocket cameras, QR might end up being resigned as a bridge to AR/VR effects. Which isn’t bad, but it does mean that implementations need to be more thoughtful than just “throw a stamp on it.”

Read What Happened to 2D Barcodes at Mobile Society

Unfortunately, Martin’s post speaks towards this disconnect that happens more often than not with newer tech. There is a lot of excitement, but then little relevant use or implementation that works outside of edge contexts. For QR Codes, there is a lot more to implement and explore, but folks have to experiment and think beyond current contexts in order to find relevance. That is unfortunately, not necessarily always found in the conversational Internet.

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