2021 was an unpredictable year which saw many innovations and new habits develop, including the use of QR codes almost everywhere. On reflection, the humble QR code wasn’t something we ever saw having as significant of an impact as it did, but the past couple of unprecedented years have left us eating our words on more than one occasion! Let’s take a look.
Covid brought an era where less was more – particularly when it came to touching things. As diners grew more concerned about germs on surfaces and single-use menus weren’t environmentally optimal, QR codes found a home on dining tables of restaurants. A quick flick to open a camera or scanned granted diners access to a linked website showing all of the restaurant’s wonderful dishes. Not only was this great from a sanitary point-of-view, but nifty restaurants had the ability to update their menu with any changes or specials and prevented the waste that would have been seen from disposable paper menus.
Gone are the days we need printed tickets for pretty much anything. Just take getting on board a Ryanair flight, super-quick, ticket in our Apple or Google pay, scan and through the gates. As we see the world resume to normality with gigs and events, e-tickets will continue to be the cheap, paperless, and quick way of gaining entry. The future of QR codes is very bright as it poses a much more efficient and convenient way of getting around, for example that we can expect to see QR codes in grocery stores for scan as you shop schemes and stores that have gone cashier-less, making the task of shopping seamless and nifty.
The QR code is essentially an updated version of the barcode. Where the barcode is only a one-dimensional line, the QR code is two-dimensional with horizontal and vertical axis. This means that the amount of information that can be stored on a QR code is around 350 times more than the original barcode. Why this is amazing is because for items such as food products, important information like nutritional labels and tracing can be compressed into one small, fast-functioning square, and allows for more space on the label to be taken up with wonderful imagery or branding! Outside of appearance, storage of lots of accessible information is hugely beneficial when tracking and storing products and could even have potential for humans regarding storge of ID cards, drivers’ licences, and loyalty cards that we can have easily accessible at a given time.
It seems that the future potential for QR codes is massive, and it’s expected that more and more functions will start adopting them. The one that we will probably see the soonest is using our scanners as a payment method. This is already being done in China where customers are using WeChat or Alipay to make 90% of their mobile payments, and banking services are incorporating them into their text message banking service. If you thought cash disappeared quickly, wait until you see what’s in store for contactless!
As versatile and wonderful as QR codes are proving to be, we must be very vigilant with what we are scanning and different systems we are implementing in our business. A simple alteration to the code itself can give it a very different liked site, presenting opportunities for hackers to install malware onto our phones and gain access to sensitive information. Our main word of advice is to of course embrace the technology but be guaranteed that your service provider is reputable and trusted to avoid any future scares!
All in all, QR codes are the gadget that took us by surprise. It rose to stardom thanks to the pandemic and the benefits that it provided to us, and we only see it going from strength to strength! Keep up to date with Peckish because, trust us, this is one trend you’re gonna want to get on board with if you aren’t already!