Why QR Codes Will Beat the Competition in the Near Term

No one really knows what will become of QR Codes in the long run, but it’s fairly certain that a few design constants and accepted practices will drive QR Code use and development.

  • The mobile screen will be the most dominant screen in history. A recent study done by Chitika showed that web traffic for Apple’s mobile operating system, called iOS, surpassed web traffic on Apple’s laptop and desktop operating system, OS X. People prefer to use their mobile devices for just about everything.

  • Just about everyone will own a phone. Mobile phone sales are expected to hit a billion units in 2015. That means one out of every seven people on the planet will own a smartphone. Just last year, 250 million Android phones sold, or eight phones per second!

  • Other devices are evolving into smartphones. Take cameras, which have boasted their own array of technological improvements during the past few years. The camera that comes on many mobile devices is so darn convenient that camera makers have responded with cameras that look and act more like smartphones.

  • Wi-Fi is coming to your area soon. The Wireless Broadband Alliance reported in 2011 that global public Wi-Fi hotspot numbers are set to grow from 1.3 million in 2011 to 5.8 million by 2015, a 350 percent increase.

    The Alliance also found that smartphones are poised to surpass laptops as the device most frequently connected to Wi-Fi. QR Codes need a reliable Internet connection, and the Wi-Fi industry is stepping up to meet the challenge.

  • Consumers are addicted to their smartphones. Smartphone users spend nearly 90 minutes per day just using apps on their devices and 75 minutes surfing the web. That’s nearly three hours per day of mobile device use.

    The average adult spends more than seven hours per day consuming media. Mobile use could double in the years ahead. It’s no surprise that when asked to choose between only their smartphone or desktop for six months, 55 percent of respondents under 30 chose their phones.

  • Consumers are warming up to mobile purchases. One in two mobile users uses their mobile device in stores to make purchasing decisions. They’re also buying items on their phone, totaling $9 billion in purchases in 2011.

  • Mobile devices will be the remote control of people’s lives. A recent Nielsen study showed that people use smartphones for everything: music, news, dining, games, weather, directions, banking, and more.

    Forty percent of people use their mobile device while watching television. And the television industry is taking note, with innovations that link viewers to their favorite shows and will one day allow them to buy the things they see by just pointing their phones at their televisions and clicking a button. People want that connection between the offline and online worlds. QR Codes are the bridge.

Mobile devices are everywhere. Connectivity to the Internet is growing worldwide. Mobile devices rank pretty close to food, water, and shelter as a thing people think they need to live.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs revisited for the mobile age.
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs revisited for the mobile age.

The future of QR Codes may seem like the maze people often mistake them for. It’s a maze that may lead to something better, or to something else. Or it may just lead to a dead end.

But the path of mobile use is straight and clear. People may not scan QR Codes forever, but demand for online content to enhance and support offline activities is strong. For now, QR Codes are the best way to link the two.

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