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Restaurants Utilizing QR Codes in the Pandemic

Posted on July 28th, 2020 by

The global pandemic has forced us all to take safety precautions and we know that masks, gloves, and social distancing are ways to minimize the spread of COVID-19 and to maximize the safety of ourselves and those around us. As businesses continue with cautious re-openings amid the COVID-19 pandemic, they are determining best practices for how to do so in a way that allows them to get back to some level of normalcy while giving their employees and customers peace of mind.

The silver lining in all of this is that there are several tactics which have now become staples of this current daily life that will presumably stay with us even beyond the pandemic.

One of the additions to life as we know it – which is really in its own revitalization of sorts – is QR codes at restaurants and eateries for contactless paying and ordering.

Contactless ordering and payment have become not only a ‘nice to have’ in restaurants but have taken hold as a must-have during these times. Independent establishments, chains, and even small venues have upgraded their payment systems to allow QR code functionality to bring food service to customers with limited physical exchange to employees and staff.

While going out to eat used bring about putting the phones down to enjoy each other’s company, now the phone is an integral component to a safer dining experience – and that may never change. Using a photo, enabling a QR code reader, and paying electronically are eliminating shared menus, shared bills, and – yes – shared germs.

So how does this all work?

When you arrive at the restaurant, you’ll certainly notice face masks and plastic shields protecting the host stand and other diners. At your table you will notice a (typically) laminated sheet or stand that has instructions directing you to use the QR code positioned front and center on it.  When that QR code is simply scanned using your smartphone’s camera, a link will open to the restaurant’s menu pages.

QR codes have had widespread use for many years now but are seeing a resurgence especially as the CDC has recommended that restaurants, eateries, and bars use digital menus in limited the spread of the coronavirus. Many restaurants in larger cities had already been looking into touchless menu technology before the pandemic struck – and many patrons love the simplicity and ease of access – so the pandemic ushered the change along much quicker.

Even beyond the benefits of QR code menus for health and safety, there are additional advantages that come from applying the technology in restaurants.

Digital menus that utilize QR codes offer more flexibility and organization than a paper menu. The staff can quickly and easily update the digital menu to adjust items (such as add a dish, or remove one that’s sold out) and with some programs a restaurant could review and analyze data (such as what dish is most popular).

QR codes menus can have visuals, graphics, and video clips – which may be more appealing than the static photos on a paper menu. In a world where we love our Instagram and Facebook videos and gifs, applying that same thought to creative on a digital menu can be a huge hit. QR codes can also enable promotions, specials, and coupons right from the system.

The environmental impact is great as well as restauranteurs who are going to digital menus are not only reducing costs for themselves, but they are reducing waste!

With all of the positives in this silver lining, restaurant owners, industry experts, and marketers firmly believe that digital menus – and the QR codes that enable them – are here to stay. Smartphones are already part of our everyday routines, and now they will be fully engrained in our dining experiences as well.

We all want to be safe and we all want to get back to some level of normal.  That said, long after a vaccine comes along the QR codes and digital menus will remain.  They make contactless ordering and payment that much safer, quicker, and easier.  The future of dining is here to stay.

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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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QR Code Facts: (Almost) Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About QR Codes

Posted on July 23rd, 2018 by

  • There are two types of QR Codes: Static QR Code and Dynamic QR Code.
    • Static QR Codes→ What are they?
      • Static QR Code encodes info after it is generated
      • Once the code set it cannot be changed
    •  Dynamic QR Codes→ What are they?
      • Unlike Static QR Codes, Dynamic QR Codes are changeable. You make edit and change the Code whenever you would like
  • Where did QR originate?
    • Denso Wave, a Japanese company, created the QR code in 1994
  • What was the original purpose of the QR Code?
    • Denso Wave was a company in the automotive industry and the original purpose of the QR code was to track vehicles during manufacturing
  • QR Codes are used for
    • Transport Ticketing
    • Marketing
    • Entertainment
    • and More!
  • QR codes are literally everywhere these days!
    • Grocery stores, book stores, malls, MLB games, the snack bar at the beach… you name it, there’s a great change a QR Code is associated with it!
  • QR Code Random Notes:
    • QR Code represent data in four modes like- Numeric, Alphanumeric, Byte and Kanji
    • You can scan a QR Code from any direction for 360 degrees
    • QR Codes can hold a hundred times more information than a barcode.
    • Audi created the largest QR Code which was of 159 square meters.
    • QR Codes don’t have to simply be black and white! They can be in different colors like red or green.
    • Print media accounts for only 1% of all scanned QR codes.
    • A QR Code can be decoded even after up to 30% of damage
    • Over one-fourth of all scanned QR codes were scanned by 35-44 year old consumers.
    • QR codes can be password protected to prevent unwanted people from using your QR code
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Facebook Messenger QR Codes Link Up with MasterCard

Posted on March 18th, 2018 by

Mastercard is one of the largest credit card companies in the world and has announced that it will launch a Masterpass QR bot on Facebook Messenger in Nigeria, allowing the businesses in that country to set up digital money accounts to accept payments via QR codes. Masterpass QR will allow customers to accept or make purchases using their cell phones without needing cash or a physical credit card. To accomplish this initiative in Nigeria, Mastercard has partnered with Ecobank and Zenith Bank. “Every business owner is looking for ways to increase sales and draw new customers into their stores. By offering QR-based digital payments, smaller retailers can achieve these goals and create greater customer stickiness with little to no investment beyond the phone they already have,” said Jorn Lambert, executive vice president, Digital Channels and Regions, Mastercard. Masterpass QR opens up new channels of commerce for Nigeria’s businesses and enables them to create auditable transaction records, likely opening doors to other financial products such as loans to drive added growth.

For those interested in using this process, they just need to send a request to the Facebook bot to enable QR payments, receive approval from the bank, and set up an account. Once this is set up, business owners can begin accepting digital payments. Owners can print and display their specific QR code in their store enabling payments to be made by customers simply by scanning the code with their smartphone. Customers will also be able to pull up a QR code on their smartphone that can be scanned by the business. Once the QR code has been scanned, the online payment will be processed through the Mastercard network using M/Chip technology and the secure EMV infrastructure that retailers already have in place. The QR codes to be scanned will be governed under a common set of universal standards. Indeed, Mastercard worked with EMVCo to create standards designed to ensure consistency in the QR codes generated and captured on a consumer’s smartphone.

This latest development in payments via QR code has Mastercard enthusiastic as the company looks to advance the technology and expand its usage globally. “Today’s news builds on the momentum of our QR work in India and Africa,” said Ajay Bhalla, president of global enterprise risk and security for MasterCard. “We look forward to the adoption of the EMVCo global QR standards. In the meantime, we’ll continue to work with our customers and partners to make every device a secure way to pay and be paid.” Bhalla continued.

Currently, Mastercard is one of the four major credit card networks in the United States along with Visa, American Express, and Discover, and Mastercard and Visa have significant advantage in terms of acceptance worldwide. Mastercard had just under 32% of the number of cards in circulation at the end of 2016, and is said to have 25% of the total U.S. market share of purchase volume in 2017. With Mastercard and EMVCo pushing for adoption of their standards and payments technology on a global scale, it seems entirely possible that this sort of payment ability will soon may make its way to the United States. We patiently (and excitedly) await its arrival!

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Tech Medicine - Edible QR Codes

Posted on March 12th, 2018 by

Who’s hungry…for a QR Code? It’s been very intriguing to read about the newest technological advancement in medicine – edible QR Codes. Though it will not satisfy your hunger, the drugs via edible QR Codes will deliver necessary and tailored drug amounts to the individual eating the code. A recent study by researchers at the University of Copenhagen, along with colleagues from Abo Akademi University in Finland, have developed a white edible material with which they have successfully printed a QR Code consisting of a drug. Now, some of you may be envisioning something like Willy Wonka’s everlasting gobstopper machine from the 1971 classic, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, cranking out little bits of medicine on paper. But, in fact, the researchers actually adapted inkjet printing technology to print the edible QR Codes that contain a dose of medicine adjusted for the particular needs of the patient.

Wow. It’s one thing to just be able to print edible medicine. It’s an even further step to be able to print medicine as a QR Code. The technology is said to be very promising, because the medical drug can be dosed exactly the way patients need it to be. The perfect amount of one or more drugs can be incorporated into a single printed QR Code, thereby reducing the number of different pills a patient needs to take separately. This also eliminates the problem of a dose being rounded up or down to the nearest amount that is put in the typical pill. Edible QR Codes gives healthcare professionals an opportunity to tailor the medication specifically to the patient taking it. This new way to administer drugs enables doctors and patients alike to have a better understanding of the drugs ingested – the shape of the QR Code enables the storage of data about the drug in the drug itself, where a simple scan can bring up all pertinent information about the drug.

While the information and data provided by an edible QR Code will prove highly beneficial, there are some issues that will need to be addressed. First, the patients will need to have the ability to scan the QR Code. Luckily, most everyone today has a smart phone that is capable of reading such codes. Additionally, there is concern that the medicinal QR Codes may fade over time. While further research on light, temperature, and humidity resistance will need to take place, preliminary testing showed that printed codes exposed to humidity were still readable, as long as the codes were kept flat when printed and were not creased or wrinkled prior to scanning.

“Simply doing a quick scan, you can get all the information about the pharmaceutical product. In that sense it can potentially reduce cases of wrong medication and fake medicine,” said Natalja Genina, an assistant professor at the Department of Pharmacy at the University of Copenhagen. It is possible that this study could one day allow a regular printer to be able to apply the medical drug in the pattern of a QR code, while the edible material is produced in advance to allow on-demand production of medical drug near end-users.

“If we are successful with applying this production method to relatively simple printers, then it can enable the innovative production of personalized medicine and rethinking of the whole supply chain,” says professor Jukka Rantanen from the Department of Pharmacy. Fascinating development.

 

Resources:
https://www.techweez.com/2018/02/12/edible-qr-codes-medicine/
https://newatlas.com/edible-qr-code-medicine/53300/
https://futurism.com/future-medicine-eating-qr-code/
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/02/180202112641.htm
https://www.rdmag.com/article/2018/02/printable-edible-qr-code-offers-promise-personalized-medicine
Image: ddnews.gov.in
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