Why QR Codes Won’t Last

February 26th, 2012

Ron Rosenzweig sent me this article by Jon Barocasa over at a while back on why QR codes won’t last. I found it particularly interesting because  after selling a rental property in January (I had a QR code on the For Sale sign). I had mixed feelings about the effectiveness of using QR codes.

I’ve come to many of the conclusions that Jon has come to:

  1. The result of scanning the code frequently does not measure up to the  effort you put into the transaction.
  2. Given how long QR codes have been around too few people understand  what they are all about.
  3. QR codes are too machine oriented. They would be more effective if they are meaningful to humans too.
  4. QR Codes have some security issues.
After realizing that I already have Google goggles (described in this video) built into the Google App I already have on my iPhone I tried it out and was amazed at how well it worked. I grabbed a printed copy of Scott Hargis’s Lighting Interiors ebook and scanned the front page with the Google Goggles app and it immediately went to the landing page for the book. I did the same thing for my two other ebooks and it did the same thing. I was amazed and impressed. I can also speak into this App to do a google search. I simply said the address of  the property I just sold (7318 Fairway Ave SE, Snoqualmie, WA) into my iPhone google app and it came up with the YouTube video of the property and the listing of the property. This is faster and meaningful than a QR code search. Who’s going to use QR code when you can say the address and it goes directly to the YouTube video? Not me!
This says all you have to do is put the property address in the title of the YouTube video as I did and people will find it by saying the address into the Google App. Pretty easy and intuitive!


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15 Responses to “Why QR Codes Won’t Last”

  • Sadly I think you are right. That is why I stopped offering them. I had to explain to EVERYONE how they were used. If I have to explain it to everyone then it is not likley some person driving along will not only know what the code is and how to read it but also have what they need to do so. I find a short URL is better then these codes.

  • Interesting, and #1 is probably the biggest downfall of QR codes. Even after people come aware as in #2, after the novelty wears off, the reality of #1 strikes. The vast majority of people creating the QR code send people to a static site that 1) re-hashes what was originally presented, and 2) requires navigating on a small screen for additional info. The experience negatively conditions people, destroying long term useage.

    Google goggles looks interesting, but curious that iphone only. Did Google build something into the android OS where no app is required, or possibly an included app by a differrent name. In either case, they need to apply the “goggles” marketing term if any universal acceptance or application among all smartphones and web enabled tablets.

    When it becomes more universal, can just see sign riders with the Google Googles logo and perhaps the word “video” below it where the QR code now exists. The only reason it would be there is to remind people to use it.

  • I have never been a fan of QR Codes. Another aspect of my job is keeping agents updated on technology. I cringe every time I see a QR code, it is usually on a business card and links to their website (and their website is listed on the front) or is on a flyer with every crumb of information on it that links to a site for the home with LESS information…

    QR Codes might be great for some products (see them ALL the time in women’s magazines) but for the most part…my computer has a 27 inch screen…you can NOT make ANY content better on a screen 5% of the size 😉

  • 3. You can logoize the qr code .
    I also saw this posting and believe it is not the QR code itself but the ability for the agent to show the potential buyers that they can access the information from anything. Phone number, web, qr code, Facebook, etc. And, this is only for the drive by because who uses QR codes on a computer to go from site to site. Since most homes are looked at on the internet first these days rather than driving by and writing down the info to call the agent (or in this case QR the drive by property), I’m not sure it is relevant, but having that code sure makes the agent look techno savvy to the clients and I believe it is our goal as REphotographers to make the agent look and feel confident about all technology to his/her clients.

  • User error (linking to irrelevant, duplicate or even blocked = flash content + iPhones) is usually the cause of trouble with QR codes. “Think Before You Link” is my mantra. I have found QR to be a useful technology when implemented properly.

    The author of the Mashable article seems a bit too critical regarding this newer (at least to U.S. markets) technology. Perhaps it is due to his recent investment here:

    Just saying.

  • I use the QR code for all my pfre tours and will probably continue to promote them that way. When I have worked for the seller, they love them because the QR takes them directly to their home’s photos and info. I recommend a one page flyer with a QR code, sample on my website. I’ve promoted them to Realtors in the same way and have received a luke warm response. They like the idea of one page flyer but still are mystified by the QR code and its appropriate use.

  • Let’s not forget how they are a crime against design and can totally kill the look, feel, and flow of a well thought out marketing piece. Just one more strike against them

  • When you think about it, signs have a limited amount of space on them and to put a contorted blob on that space takes away from the flow of the message. A simple footer “view this home at” will get more responses.

  • On Apps…I searched Google Goggles but it did not come up. I downloaded Google Search and it provided all the options…picture and voice recognition. It is great! Agree with all the comments on QR code…plus, nothing like an ugly QR code to take away from the aesthetics of a great AD. Ugly as all get out!

  • QR Codes have to be used effectively, see my blog for some creative and artistic uses of QR codes.

    My favorite use is the QR Code Condoms: , be sure to check the video.

    or Qr Code Cows:

    or a hand drawn Qr Code – it is amazing to me that it works:

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  • The problem with the google goggles is that it’s lacking call to action. I feel you need to put something on the material to let them know they can easily scan it to get the full info.

  • When I saw this I immediately thought of you, Larry! 🙂

  • @Malia- Thank you! Really funny site. I’m still laughing!

  • This might be a way for qr codes to go:

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