Why Are QR Codes So Popular? - Feb 2017
The popularity of QR Codes is increasing rapidly, but why is this? Why have competing technologies not seen the same demand?
The answer to this is simplicity, both in creating a QR Code and in the end user actually using it. A QR Code costs almost nothing to make and there are many free generators on the internet. So long as you have an internet connection and a printer, you can create a QR Code. You don’t even have to have a printer if you’re looking for an electronic QR Code.
The other key benefit of QR Codes is that the can be read by almost any smartphone that has a camera. Free applications are available on almost every platform that allows a user to quickly and easily extract the data from a code. No special hardware and no cost to the user. This is mainly possibly because the QR Code specification has been standardised and while Denso Wave hold patents on the technology, they will not persue those patents when people make QR Codes that confirm to the standards. We talk more about the standards here
Some competing technologies exist but these also rely on back end infrastructure to work. The codes themselves only contain a unique reference that when scanned, causes the reader to then query a central database and pull down any data related to that code. This has some advantages but also additional costs in maintaining an infrastructure. QR Codes don't have those costs. Once created they are completely independent and the data they store is coded within the QR Code, no external lookup needed. (although you can create a QR Code that way if you prefer)
If you're new to QR Codes and want to learn a little more, then take the time to read What's A QR Code
Or scan through our FAQs
If you want something a little more technical, try The Technical Stuff