Quick response (QR) codes have come a long way from their invention in 1994 by Denso Wave company.Â The QR code originated as a tool for tracking automotive manufacturing parts in Japan, and has risen to prominence in marketing and advertising campaigns in 2011. The ability for QR codes to be read on mobile devices has helped with increasing its popularity in today’s tech-savvy society. Consumers, marketers, and print service providers are beginning to become more aware of this technology by adopting it into their existing operations. As consumers, we often times see QR codes in many areas of our daily lives.Â The codes can be seen on our monthly statements encouraging customers to take action, in printed magazines to deliver further information, and on retail packaging for brands that want to engage with customers.
While much of the discussion around the use of QR codes has been about commerce, today, quite by chance, I saw an example in the name of art that to my mind is the most successful of any that I’ve encountered.
Run as part of Transport for London’s Art on the Underground public art project it turned the poster sites at White City, a station in West London, into an interactive gallery. The artist Anna Barham divided the work into two components, the posters themselves and a series of text and video work encountered by following the links embedded in the QR codes. Read more »
Last year around this time I reviewed all of the corporate greeting cards I received over the holiday season. I’m at it again this year and cover such diverse topics as colored signatures; recycled paper, FSC, and other green initiatives; text & image personalization; QR codes; printing on the envelope; metallics & pearlescents; special effects like dimensional printing; and non-card items such as calendars, menus, photo books. I also rant about electronic greeting cards that come with insincere tag lines like: “In our appreciation for the environment, we chose to send you our holiday wishes electronically.” Baloney! Face it, you’re just lazy and trying to hide your cheapness in an eco-green candy coating. If you really care, send me a physical card next year. My address is Jim Hamilton, 97 Libbey Industrial Parkway, Suite 300, Weymouth, Massachusetts 02189, USA.
I’ve spoken at InfoTrends’ On Demand Japan conference for many years now. My annual visit to Tokyo is a high pointÂ of the year because it gives me a chance to visit face-to-face with our Japanese clients and to catch up with InfoTrends employees here. Since I was here last July, of course, Japan has suffered a tremendous natural disaster followed by a nuclear plant accident with long-lasting implications. It’s only been four months since the earthquake and as I arrived I wondered what changes I would see in Tokyo since my last visit.
In this video I discuss the corporate holiday cards I received over the past month or so. Some of these cards were conventionally printed and some were digitally printed. The list of special effects include pop-up die-cuts, silver and gold metallic, embossing, and variable data tools such as personalized URLs, stamps, and QR codes. I also show two photo books that I received as gifts after attending industry analyst briefings.
Print has been the ultimate portable media for a very long time–ever since someone thought to write on a tablet that could be transported rather than writing on a cave wall. Today, devices like smartphones and iPads have become a primary source of portable media from which we can obtain information and communicate. Technology is certainly moving fast, but that doesn’t mean that print has to be left in the dust. In just the past several weeks, the market has seen tremendous examples of companies that are combining print and mobile technologies to deliver enhanced value.
Throughout 2010 and 2011, Calvin Klein will be featuringÂ a new ad campaign promoting its X jeans. Three billboards (at Houston and Lafayette Street in New York, at West 20th Street and 10th Avenue in New York, and at Sunset Boulevard and Havenhurst Drive in Los Angeles) are displaying a Calvin Klein QR code that gives device users access to a mobile video featuring models in the company’s latest X jeans. The QR code included in Calvin Klein’s billboards enables consumers to scan at street level to view an exclusive 40-second spot on their mobile devices.
During a recent InfoTrends Webinar discussing the future of the print production software market, Alex Sumarta and I were asked if quick response (QR) codes are currently more popular in Europe than they are in the United States. This post is the second part of a series of two that attempts to answer that question.
I recently came across some research from Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, which has studied the state of broadband Internet adoption around the world. What I liked about this report is that it does not rely on the more traditional benchmark measurements like fixed line broadband adoption per 100 inhabitants. Instead, it takes a multidimensional approach along three main indicators: penetration, capacity,and price. This enables the research to become much more granular and provides surprising new insights.
During a recent InfoTrends Webinar on the future of the global print production software market, Alex Sumarta and I were asked if quick response (QR) codes are more popular in Europe than they are in the United States. QR codes–those 2D barcodes that can be scanned by Internet-enabled camera phones–help connect the physical and virtual worlds and can tremendously increase the effectiveness of one-to-one communications.
Based on anecdotal information, I would say that QR codes in Europe are a bit ahead of those in the U.S., but they are not as advanced as those in Japan. I recently stumbled upon some interesting research that would support this claim.
This blog post will focus on a few examples of QR adoption in Europe, and a blog that will be issued next week will provide some additional thoughts and data points concerning adoption. Read more »