Jon Barocas has just published an article in Mashable Tech. http://mashable.com It demonstrates the limitations - and even dangers - of using QR Codes. UP' Magazine brings you this exclusive analysis.
"Like most technology fans, I'm always ready and willing to try any technology that's supposed to simplify my life. QR codes seemed to be a simple and universal way for smartphone owners to interact with advertising, marketing and media. These little squares of code seemed to open up a world of possibilities and potential. But after using them for a while, I changed my point of view.
My initial honeymoon with the QR codes was very short. My initial enthusiasm for trying to frame the code on my device quickly faded. I began to perceive the QR codes as an obstacle to further information. And in many cases, the rewards (what I received for analyzing the code) were not commensurate with the effort required.
According to a recent comScore study, only 14 million U.S. mobile device users have interacted with a QR code. In fact, less than 5% of the U.S. population has scanned a QR code. So where's the loophole?
Inadequate technology, a lack of familiarity, and too little perceived value provided by QR codes are just three of the reasons why barcodes do not "click" Americans. But they are not the only ones.
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Human beings are visual animals. We have visceral reactions to images that QR codes can never evoke; what we see is directly related to our moods, buying habits and behaviours. It is therefore logical that a more visual alternative to QR codes is not only preferable for consumers, but could likely elicit more positive responses.
The alternative to QR codes
This is where Mobile Visual Search (MVS) comes in. With RVM, you simply point to a product or logo and take a picture with your smartphone's built-in camera. Within seconds, the RVM application will provide product or company information, or even the ability to make an immediate, on-the-spot purchase with your mobile phone.
RVM is a much more compelling and interactive tool for m-marketing and m-commerce. In today's increasingly mobile world, instant gratification is the norm, and having to take the extra step to find a QR code reader on your mobile device no longer makes sense. With the QR code reader, you interact with familiar and attractive images, not a square of code that doesn't provoke a reaction.
The possibilities are unlimited with the RVM. Unlike two-dimensional barcodes and QR codes, the RVM will have three-dimensional perception and recognition capabilities. Even traditional advertising will be revitalized with RVM. For example, imagine an interactive advertising campaign that incorporates the RVM as part of a contest or game. Marketers can offer immediate gratification in the form of videos, links, mobile coupons or discounts to reward the best photos of a product or logo.
The world has already started to migrate to the RVM. For example, companies in Argentina and South Korea are now allowing commuters waiting for their subways or buses to see images of groceries or office supplies. Embedded within these images are recognition triggers: smartphone users can place and pay for an order that will be delivered or picked up on the spot within minutes.
In addition, RVM can capitalize on word-of-mouth marketing. Marketers can seamlessly link their campaigns to social networks so that consumers can share photos and rewards, such as coupons, vouchers or music downloads, with friends and followers.
QR Codes and security risks
In addition to being a more versatile channel, visual mobile search is also more secure than QR code technology. Cybercriminals are able to conceal QR code attacks on smartphones because of the nature of the technology - QR codes, by their nature, store data in the code. There is no way to know where this code will catch you: a legitimate website, an infected site, a malicious app or a phishing site. RVM encryption will eliminate the possibility of downloading malicious code to your smartphone.
Recently, there have been documented cases of malicious and fraudulent use of QR codes around the world. For example, infected QR codes can trigger the download of an application that includes a surcharge for SMS in your monthly mobile phone bill. QR codes can also be used to gain full access to a smartphone - access to the Internet, camera, GPS, read/write stored data and contact data. All data from a smartphone can be sucked and stolen, putting the user at risk of identity theft - without them noticing.
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RVM is a safer and more secure technology that can provide more information and content than a QR code, without as many security risks. By focusing on real objects and images rather than code, RVM reduces the risk of a virus or Trojan horse attack.
Safe, secure and versatile - there are many reasons why RVM will supplant QR codes. However, there is an important, largely overlooked reason for preferring RVM to QR codes: for the first time, we will be able to connect with our real environment in a truly interactive way. We will be able to open up a familiar and accessible virtual marketplace. Humanizing this interaction and making it more visual are the foundations of the imminent success of RVM.
Jon Barocas is founder and CEO of bieMEDIAa marketing and online media agency based in Denver (USA) that specializes in the production and distribution of video content, mobile visual search, technology platforms, search engine optimization, video referencing, etc.