Even An Editor At Mashable Gets QR Codes Wrong

Todd Wasserman, Business Editor at Mashable, posted this article about QR Codes and a “new” product called Clickable Paper. See my comments in bold.

Finally, an Alternative to the Much-Hated QR Code
By Todd Wasserman

2DBS: Mr. Wasserman, hate is such a powerful word…exactly who “hates” QR Codes? You might, but I’m sure some consumers find QR Codes to be quite useful and actually like them.

Marketers have been trying to make print and outdoor ads interactive for years, but despite their efforts, consumers are largely rejecting QR Codes. Can a new technology called Clickable Paper reboot those efforts?

2DBS: Mr. Wasserman, many advertisers/marketers/brands have succeeded in using QR Codes to enrich and further the interactive experience a consumer has with a product or service and the brand itself. Have all attempts/campaigns been successful, no, but plenty have been. Where’s the research that shows consumers are largely rejecting QR Codes, or is that just your opinion, guess or wish? Last I saw, QR Code scans remain at their all time highs. Also, just how “new” is Clickable Paper when companies like Digimarc, documobi and other visual search related companies have been on the scene for years.

Imaging and electronics company Ricoh introduced Clickable Paper two years ago, but the company just introduced iOS and Android apps in the United States late last year. (A similar app has been available in Japan since 2012.)

The technology lets you click on an image without zooming in on a code or logo first. After clicking, you’re directed to a range of options, including an Amazon link, a YouTube video and a website; it also lets you tweet or share the information on Facebook. That’s a big improvement from QR Codes, which send you to one dedicated site. You can also lose the ugly, increasingly anachronistic code itself.

2DBS: Mr. Wasserman, how much research did you put into writing this article? If you knew anything about the codes you seem to hate, you would know that QR Codes can direct consumers to a myriad of options (e.g., a landing page, a form, a map, one-click check out, a vCard, a video, a song, a Tweet, a share, etc., etc.), just like Clickable Paper or most any other digital watermark or visual search technology. Also, with respect to being ugly and anachronistic, QR Codes can be designed, customized, colored and/or shaped in ways that make them very appealing and quite interesting to view. I’d even go so far as to say that some designer codes take on the look of artwork. 

Instead of sensationalizing around the topic of QR Codes, why not write a meaningful article on how, now more than ever, companies have a wide choice of options when it comes to developing print-to-digital interactive experiences with consumers, one being Clickable Paper.


One thought on “Even An Editor At Mashable Gets QR Codes Wrong

  1. I pretty much had the same reaction as you about this article. At least people at this point know what a QR code is. Good luck trying to educate the general public about clickable paper. Most people I know don’t even know what Google Goggles is.

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