Qfuse Blog - QR Code, NFC, and Mobile Marketing News

QR Codes...on Bumblebees?

Posted on November 30th, 2018 by

Often we read about QR codes being used to sell or market goods to consumers, but here is a new use – bumblebee research. Researchers have created a new way to study the buzzing bees – attach QR codes to their backs. Using a special vacuum, the bees are collected and put in a refrigerator to chill thereby rendering them immobilized. Once immobilized, very small, simplified QR codes are superglued to their backs. Previously researchers would stand over colonies, tracking the behavior of individual bees. Its hard to believe they would not confuse the bees as they all look similar. The system, called BEEtag, allows cameras to automatically monitor hundreds of bees at all times, allowing reseachers to learn about their personalities and interactions. Bumblebees may all look alike, but research using QR codes has shown that they actually have lots of personality. Some are more active than others, some forage all day, and other remain more in the nest. With bee populations on the decline recently, this information is certainly important and the implications for other similar research methods are aplenty. For example, it has been suggested that pesticides may have to go through testing with BEEtag before receiving regulatory approval. Assistant Professor Stacey Combes’ research with former Harvard graduate student James Crall on this was recently published in Nature Communications. Great to see people using QR codes to help our insect friends.

 

wired.com/story/why-these-bumblebees-are-wearing-itty-bitty-qr-codes/ (Image Credit)

biology.ucdavis.edu/news/stacey-combes-and-why-these-bumblebees-are-wearing-itty-bitty-qr-codes-wired

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QR Codes & Foodservice (Codes on Burger Buns!)

Posted on November 19th, 2018 by

Restaurants have been adding interactive technology to their tables allowing users to view the menu and order on a tablet – there are even games for kids. Some of these tablets allows diners to pay without waiting for a check to be delivered. Pretty convenient, right? It gets better. A Japanese restaurant in London has become one of the first in applying the QR code technology in the kitchen. ICHIBUNS has created the first burger bun branded QR code. The company has partnered with mobile-payment servicers, Zapper. The idea is supposed to allow customers to make easy, fast, and safe payments for the food by scanning the code on the bun with a smartphone. Diners can leave a tip and split the bill. Users need to download the app to pay which is made simple – all they need to do is scan the QR code on the bun.

To incentivize users, ICHIBUNS is offering customers £7 off their first bill and other exclusive rewards. Benjamin Goldkorn, CEO of ICHIBUNS, said: “Our goal with ICHIBUNS was to be a restaurant experience like no other, and our partnership with Zapper is a great way to achieve this, allowing us to be at the forefront of hospitality innovation by offering much more than just a payment service. Combining it with our own app also allows us to give something back to our amazing, loyal customers, with discounts and prizes available to win.” We think it is safe to say this would be an experience like no other. Our question was what if you’re starving and quickly bite into that juicy wagyu beef burger only to realize that part of the QR code is now missing? Fear not. Your QR code is also printed on the menu.

 

 

References:
foodserviceequipmentjournal.com/first-burger-bun-branded-qr-code-puts-a-new-stamp-on-kitchen-tech/
standard.co.uk/go/london/restaurants/you-can-pay-for-this-burger-with-the-qr-code-on-its-bun-a3927991.html (IMAGE CRED to this site).

 

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QR Codes to Register Voters

Posted on October 26th, 2018 by

QR Codes to Register Voters

The student-led protest group, March For Our Lives, which emerged after the tragic events that took place at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, FL, has gotten innovative with their use of QR Codes in their focus on opposing gun violence.

Former Stoneman student, Jammal Lemy, a local T-shirt designer, was asked by the group to design t-shirts to help fund their tour around the US. The shirts depict and American flag-like symbol with a QR Code where the stars would be.

The stripes have been altered, with several more added an varying thickness resembling linear barcodes. The objective is to help register as many youth voters as possible for the November midterms. Simply scanning the QR Code with their smartphones sends the scanner to a voter registration page.

With 38 states allowing online registration, the shirts will likely make an impact (especially in the upcoming November elections). In fact, it has been reported that as of a week ago approximately 10,000 people have already registered to vote by simply using the shirts — and utilizing QR Codes!

 

References:

dezeen.com // Photo Cred, dezeen.com.

axios.com

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LinkedIn Introduces QR Code Functionality

Posted on August 28th, 2018 by

LinkedIn has recently introduced a great new feature to further aid with its app’s functionality. The LinkedIn app now lets users connect through QR codes.

In the app, there is a newly added icon in the Home tab’s search bar. Tapping on that icon reveals a QR scanner as well as a code dedicated to you. Users can now scan others’ codes or upload an image of one from your phone and the app will take you to that user’s profile. Users can also share their own code in a variety of ways. In addition to sending it via messaging apps, your code can also be added to websites, your email signature, or printed on marketing materials.

This is a fantastic idea out of LinkedIn. QR code usage will help users connect with others immediately. Users will no longer meet someone at a conference or other networking event only to forget their name or misplace their business card. A quick QR code scan with the LinkedIn app and you’re connected for the foreseeable future, able to engage in further meaningful interactions that may result in more business. This also saves you from the potentially awkward exchange of having to ask someone how to spell their name, or as TechCrunch points out, connecting with the wrong “Mark Smith.”

 

https://www.engadget.com/2018/06/28/linkedin-qr-codes-sharing-profile-easier/
https://lifehacker.com/how-to-add-a-new-linkedin-connection-via-qr-code-1827261999
https://techcrunch.com/2018/06/28/linkedin-adds-microsoft-powered-translations-and-qr-codes-to-connect-more-of-its-users-faster/

 

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The Future of QR Codes

Posted on July 29th, 2018 by

Depending on what you read, the future of QR codes seems to be a mixed bag. The thoughts on QR Codes are influenced by where in the world the QR codes are used as different countries have differing appetites for the technology.

As noted by PYMNTS.com, the QR code has gotten a lot of attention recently for use as a digital payment, though such attention has been – for now – limited outside of Asia. EMVCo, the global technical body that manages QR Code payment specifications, has introduced the QR Payment Mark, meant to “promote global interoperability across EMV QR Code payments.” The QR Payment Mark will inform consumers that a particular merchant uses a digital payments application. In India, QR Codes have seen great momentum as officials work to move toward a cash-free society. India has launched the BharatQR, a digital payments tool back by Visa, Mastercard, and the National Payments Corporation of India. It has also been reported that the most successful deployments of QR Code-based payments have occurred in China where QR Code transaction have surpassed cash and cards.

Innovation Enterprise, however, writes about how infrequently QR Codes are used, especially here in the States. They note that while most people “would be able to recognize one if they saw it . . . the number of people that have actually used them is small, with even fewer using them with any regularity.”

Our thoughts? The applications of QR Codes can certainly be recognized by many, and the uses and utility are continuing to grow, develop, and emerge. Some argue that the QR Code hasn’t stood out to marketing teams as a ‘must’ in a singular-use case, but the reality is that QR Codes should be part of a marketing plan when there is a clear benefit to connecting online and offline media, and when your target audiences will likely understand how to interact with them (e.g. are you marketing to millennials or senior citizens).

A number of years ago at the dawn of the smartphone era many marketers tried and failed to use QR codes in marketing campaigns. In many cases, these were poorly implemented efforts with common mistakes that doomed their efforts to failure.

As more and more marketing initiatives find success – such as SnapChat’s Snapcodes or Starbucks having customers scan codes from cups – businesses and brands will see more of the upside. QR Codes now are providing a one-way transaction, in directing users to information or content, but they are not – yet – collecting information. In an age where marketing is driven by ton of data, this will be the next big piece of the puzzle for QR Codes to explore and develop.

An area where QR codes are appear to be gaining momentum, but that are less publicly visible, are in areas related to industrial use and logistics, such as information access and inventory control. It may not be sexy, but it’s practical and can carry significant benefits to organizations that want to improve efficiency in their operations by merging cloud-based data with their real-world products and processes. Ultimately, regardless of how or where QR codes are being used, their utility ultimately depends on thoughtful implementation. Following established QR Code best practices will improve the chances that they are utilized as intended, while also providing an optimal experience for your users.

 

 

Cited:
pymnts.com/digital-payments/2018/qr-code-payments-expansion/
channels.theinnovationenterprise.com/articles/what-is-the-future-of-qr-codes

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