I’m sure that at one point or another you have run into a little square black and white label that resembled, what could be some type of bland alien technology. And if you haven’t then your powers of observation are disturbingly lacking. These are a called QR or “quick response” codes, and are used to embed links specifically designed for mobile technology. In other words scan these little monochrome images and they will take to sites, images or even videos directly related to the product or services that they have been placed on. Sounds convenient? Well it is, but the only problem is there are those that feel they won’t last. More specifically a Mr. Jon Barocas, founder and CEO of bieMedia. He recently wrote an article for Mashable.com basically denouncing the hype for QR codes, and comparing it to Mobile Visual Search technology (MVS).
As its name implies, MVS also relies on mobile technology to work its magic. But unlike QR codes it does not rely on a single black and white image to initiate its function. Instead you can simply use an MVS application to scan a product or logo to find out more about it, which brings us to why MVS can potentially kill QR codes.
If Pinterest has thought us anything, it is that we are very visual creatures. We like colors and shapes and all things shiny, all traits that unfortunately QR codes are not. One of the main reasons I believe QR codes are not as popular as they should be, is that they look too much like plain old UPC codes that we see on all products, and nobody ever scanned those with their phones. With MVS you can scan pretty much scan any product right off the shelf, or any marketing material you may run into and viola!, you’re on your way to being influenced/marketed to.
There are also a few other aspects that are worth mentioning about these technology. One of the main setbacks of MVS is that it is still relatively unknown, despite the fact that it has been around for a while. In fact the Google Goggles app came out in 2009 and yet very few know about it. I believe that the lack of call-to-action is what’s holding it back. At least with the QR codes it invites you to scan it to see what it’s all about. Until everyone becomes more familiar with MVS technology, we won’t exactly be running around taking pictures of ketchup bottles at random, hoping it’s the one with the contest you saw advertised in the middle of your Youtube video this morning.