Sunday, February 17, 2013

Will NFC kill QR Code?

QR Codes vs. NFC.

QR (Quick Response) Codes are hot. They appear on most of the printed material around us. But is QR dead? Is NFC (Near Field Communications) going to kill the QR popularity?It seems to be the thought of many.

Then again, the way the technology works, or is intended to work is so different that they could also work along side. Did whats-app kill SMS? Did mobile phones kill the land lines? Did internet kill newspapers? the answer to this is both yes and no. In cases were some activity that was only covered by the old technology this is transferred to the technology that is better suited for the proposed job.

This is my thought also for QR Codes and NFC. There were NFC can contain a lot more of information, the proximity to the information carrier is also needed. Where as a QR Code can be re sized and printed on roughly any surface to be accessible from greater distances. NFC technology works as a closed circuit while transferring data, only one transmitter/receiver pair per communication burst. Ok, the burst of data is short, making the next communication cycle available in a short time, where a QR code can be viewed by many camera's at the same time.

QR Codes can be branded, at the moment there a a lot of companies, my own included, that work a lot on QR Code enhancement. By making alterations, additions and other magic a QR Code can be transformed from a simple back and white squire to eye candy.
A NFC Tag is a piece of silicon with an antenna in a package, and on this package also almost anything can be printed to make it eye candy.

If NFC had the potential to kill any kind of bar-code it would have been in use at grocery stores years ago.
What is blocking is the cost. A once made QR code, or bar code printed on a leaflet or any kind of promotional material is just ink, where a NFC chip will cost a couple of cents per TAG.

The future will give the marketeers more and more technology to choose from. For each application a certain technology, existing or yet to be invented will be the right choice. It will be their work to know these technologies and choose the best for the campaign that they are planning.

I expect the QR code to be around for a while, and if you need one right now.... pay me a visit at:
to find out if the technology I use to enhance the QR Codes is the best choice for your current requirements.

Gerko de Roo

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