Yeah, that’s right. QR codes! You remember those square thingies that you typically see on a business card, or on a poster, or even printed on a tee shirt. Why would anyone want to scan a tee shirt, anyway? The use of QR codes never really made a huge splash in the US and Europe but that will change in the near future, thanks to Squiqr, the fastest and easiest way to share your contact info. However, throughout Asia, QR codes have been used and scanned on the daily for many years. They are now even being used in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
QR codes in Asia have many different uses:
- Sharing bikes
- As an information point on street signs
- Posting and replying to job boards
- Checking the source and authenticity of food and drinks
- Collecting gifts at a wedding
- To identify senior citizens
- As an identification badge for transportation
- And even for identifying pets!
Asia’s obsession with scanning QR codes
WeChat, a Chinese multi-purpose messaging, social media and mobile payment app that has gained over 1 billion active users since released in 2011. They had included a built-in QR code scanner during its early phase. This allowed their users to interact in ways they never experienced before. Within their mobile app, users can add other contacts by scanning their QR codes. LINE, another free messaging app, does something similar and is very popular in Thailand. Seeing this feature for the first in my life with my own eyes amazed me. When meeting someone new, adding a new contact by scanning someone’s QR code right on their mobile device instead of typing in letter and numbers was something I never came across in the US. It was so simple and efficient.
You don’t need WeChat to get your own QR code. See how to get your own QR code here and start sharing your contact information instantly without typing any letter or numbers.
WeChat promoted QR codes to replace gifting red packets (a traditional way of giving money as a gift) for Chinese New Year. It was a brilliant idea as there was no more need to buy, use and waste paper envelopes. Although this may have not been their intended purpose, it turns out to be an unexpected positive effect for the environment. QR codes weren’t just made for the general public. The business world is benefiting from the use of QR readers and scanners too. They became a cheaper alternative to point of sales (POS) terminals or other similar costly devices. Marketers used them for advertising, for introducing promotions, for tracking merchandise, and even replaced paper coupons.
Why use QR codes?
Scanning QR codes (the QR, which stands for quick response) makes things easier, faster, and essentially much more efficient. You can scan them to pay for things, to access media on the internet, and as of late, QR codes are now being used to help control the spread of the Coronavirus. These automatically generated quick response codes are being assigned to citizens as an indicator of their health status. This program is being used in China and a similar QR code system in Moscow utilizes color-coded QR codes that are generated to help track people’s movements and enforce it’s coronavirus lockdown measures.
QR Codes’ everyday uses
There’s no need to stand there and type in letters and numbers when you have a customized QR code that’s embedded with specific information. Consumers have been using them to visit websites, to download offers and to learn more about different products. The use of QR codes are endless in their possibilities and the technology behind it will continue to offer more practical uses.
We generate QR codes to better our environment
For us at Squiqr, we create the paperless business card using QR codes. Why print, exchange, then throw away traditional paper business cards when you can simply scan your personalized QR code? Cutting down trees, using precious water resources and releasing toxic materials into our planet’s air, water, and soil are among the destructive consequences. It’s been known that paper production is ranked third as the most energy-intensive of all manufacturing industries and is among the highest emitters of greenhouse gases in the manufacturing sector. We feel it’s time to ban the traditional business card because they are simply a waste in many ways.
See which other apps allow you to scan QR code business cards here
As you can see, the use of QR codes and their complimentary QR readers are becoming more widespread. They’re expanding not only in a geographical sense, but also in their many different uses. In our new normal world, such contactless ways of gathering and exchanging information will be appropriate and necessary for the many years to come. Soon, you’ll be seeing these square things on your own mobile device. No matter what area of the world you live in, QR codes will be seen everywhere.