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Why The QR Code Is Living On Borrowed Time

by Ron Yagur, on Aug 8, 2017 12:04:16 PM

Connecting offline to online is a holy grail for many industries. Though it’s sometimes hard to remember, we actually live in an offline world. When we leave our homes in the morning for work, the street signs, billboards and store logos that we see are offline. The online world intersects with offline sparingly. We can go up to an outdoor advertisement and look at it, but how do we connect it to our online gadgets and personas?


The QR code was designed to connect offline to online, and it was a major step in the right direction. QR codes have limitations that you all know about - they’re slow, you have to be right in front of them and they don’t exactly add an element of “pleasant design” to a piece of content.

Even the creator of the QR code, Masahiro Hara has spoken about the anticipated demise of the QR code. In 2014, Mr. Hara said, “To tell you the truth, it may last for 10 more years.” He went on to say, “It would be great if we can get away with this code that’s printed on paper. That’s an idea I’ve been having in my mind for years.”

What Happens When You Resolve The QR Code’s Limitations?

Let’s look at the QR code’s limitations and imagine how we could stretch and improve on them. Let’s start with the QR code’s “being stuck” on paper. A new type of QR code would have to be omni-media - and work on all media - TV, outdoor digital and print. QR codes are designed for print, but don’t work at all on outdoor digital (who wants to stand right in front of a huge screen?) and under-perform on TV. An omni-media “new QR code” would allow business owners to run the same campaign simultaneously on all 3 media. Like I wrote in the beginning of this article, we live in an offline world which often intersects with online.

The other major limitation is detection range. QR codes require the person scanning them to stand right in front of the QR code. This short detection range prevents QR code scanning from the couch to the TV and means you can’t scan anything while sitting down at an airport. From an advertising point of view, interactive outdoor ads need to work from a distance in order to be effective. So a new QR code would have to be detectable from the couch and cover the distance from a TV or digital screen in an airport to where people are sitting waiting for flights and of course at restaurants (sports bars and everything else).

Like someone who hasn’t ventured outside in the hot August sun, the QR code could use some color. The multitude of well designed screens that we see in our day-to-day lives has massively increased since the QR code was first released in 1994. Black and white lines just won’t cut it for ad agencies or consumers. If a new QR code doesn’t look good on an iPhone or Android smartphone, it won’t catch on.

What happens when you mix omni-media, a vastly larger detection range and colorful design? You get the FarQR Code. The FarQR Code has a detection range of 100x the size of the FarQR Code, works on TV, outdoor digital and print and comes with a built-in pleasant design.

Now imagine what the FarQR Code can do for broadcast TV. Let’s go back to what the original QR code was meant to do - connect offline to online. The one TV technology that broadcasters are most furiously seeking is the offline to online - O2O - connection.

The successor to the QR code is here, and it is ready for TV. Broadcasters, we’d love to hear from you and show you how we can help you to engage and interact with your audiences like never before!

Topics:O2OOffline to OnlineQR CodeSodyo