QR Codes: Used or Abused

QR codes have been around for quite some time now, but those little, black and white, 2-dimensional codes are only recently being really put to use. You can see these codes everywhere: on billboards, on posters… even on household items like coffee mugs and mouse pads.

But are we using, or abusing these great pieces of technology?

Why do I ask this? Because QR codes are not always used in the most intelligent fashion. Marketers are acting as if they’ve just discovered this incredible technology, and they think that thy can throw a QR code on anything.

Well, as you might imagine, throwing a QR code on just about everything isn’t the best marketing strategy… And to illustrate that, we have numerous examples we can draw on. Consider the QR codes posted in the London Underground. Sure it was a good idea… until people realized that you couldn’t get a cell phone signal or even Wi-Fi there! If that’s not enough, there have also been numerous QR codes placed in ridiculous spots where people couldn’t possibly scan them… like high up billboards.

There are other instances as well that leave people wondering if QR was a good choice. Consider that people are now placing QR codes on tombstones to link to obituaries… While it certainly is an interesting idea, some have thought it to be an offense against the deceased.

The point is that just because technology is good in many instances, doesn’t mean it’s good in all instances. We need to be very careful with how and when we use technology if we want to reap the full benefits of it.

In what ways have you seen QR technology misused or abused?