These small black and white squares are now part of a vast ecommerce network that is valued in trillions. We take a look under the hood and see what they do, where they work well, and what we can expect to see from them in the future.
Originally developed in 1994, by a Japanese automaker, the discreet stickers were designed to be standardised, robust, and easily tracked at any angle. Each code is able to contain a variety of data, from long encrypted text, images, and URLs to videos online. Parts of the data is repeated every so often, so even if the code damaged, because the paper is torn, or is obscured, as a result of grim or dirt, the code can still be resolved to reveal the message.
The future of QR codes
From its humble beginnings, the QR code has seen its ups and downs. Where it has seen mass adoption in the APAC region, more developed markets are seeing a much slower uptake in the technology. The need to survive in a time of digital transformation, especially in retail, is seeing brands use the technology to create novelty experiences that attempt to either personalise, create on-brand messaging, or ideas for new products and services.