Example of Micro QR

Image via Wikipedia

It’s a fact.  The free market place has it’s own version of survival of the fittest that gets played out worldwide, online and offline, every single minute of every single day.

If an idea or product or personality or … or … doesn’t make it, most of the time it simply dies a quiet death from lack of acceptance, lack of use, lack of funding, you get the picture.  Things just take care of themselves.   Well, most of the time.

Examples where this has taken place in the marketplace with the adoption of certain conventions are many–think BETA vs. VHS, Vinyl v. CD, VHS v. DVD, DVD v. BlueRay.  You get the picture.

QR Codes

The past 12-18 months have seen the development and broader use of QR Codes.  These are the square boxes you now see in magazine advertisements, or go on a treasure hunt at a convention, or, even on our Twitter account, we use it to keep a V-Card of our information ready for you to scan and immediately include in your contacts list.  Pretty sleek?  You betcha.

But while in observations of recent business, tech and finance magazines it’s clear that the use of QR Codes is increasing, there also seems to be a bit going on about which code is the most widely used.  And no doubt a whole series of posts could also be written about what data vendors are accumulating when you zap one of their codes with various readers available.

Here are some examples of what we mean:

GOOGLE: In their magazine ads, Google seems to already have adopted the standard three-corner-squares convention with enough patterning to suggest a modern-day camouflage pattern.  With a standard QR Code reader, we use “TapReader”  that we downloaded the The Apple App Store, all we do is open the app on our iPhones, tap on the screen and the QR Code immediately asks us if we’d like to go to Google.com.

As one can see, TagHeuer, the Swiss Watch Company, (people do still wear watches?) remains with the three-box configuration, but prove once and for all that even eye-catching colors like red, can be introduced into the configuration to make it jump out a little more.  Scanning this QR Code takes one to Tappinn.com, not the TagHeuer.com Website by name, but it still gets one to a place where they see TagHeuer product.

Microsoft–Adding To The Confusion Of Not Being Consistent Themselves

And then there’s Microsoft–the company ever after the ideas of someone else and forcing you to comply with their adaptations.  It’s quite ironic that their ads use such language in them when it comes to using “the Cloud,” another non-original MS idea.   One ad reads in all caps, “DON’T GET FORCED.” Another says, “I GOT FORCED.” And to use their QR code, not only before you can get forced to use their CRM product, you’re forced to switch QR Code Readers to the one they have at http://gettag.mobi.

And instead of getting the blind who would follow Microsoft to follow something consistent, they offer a completely different looking box in this add for Microsoft 2010.

Isn’t It Time To Adopt A Standard?

We think so.    Maybe this will work itself out with the need for an ad industry accepted practice unlike BETA v. VHS, and DVD v. BlueRay, but we’re hopeful.   No mobile user wants to spend time trying to decide which app they need to open to read a QR code.  There’s already enough suspicion amongst us to wonder what the reader companies are doing with the information we scan in the first place.  Any bets that information is out on a cloud somewhere, too?

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