When video game handhelds started sporting cameras, developers started to use them for QR code scanning. As with any new technology there is never one standard/correct way to use the it and developers continued coming up with ways to leverage QR technology into their games and user experience.
Sharing Created Content
The Nintendo 3DS QR codes are used to trade user created content. Each game has it own custom QR code that the player can chose to create for their custom content. Within the game there is option to load content from a QR code using the built in camera.
The QR codes, usually with a graphic and/or screenshot(s) of the content is used as a preview of the content to download. This method of trading user created content has simplified the process of content trading by not having to depend on the games online features and/or systems social communication aspects. It keeps the user within the game experience or can open the web and all devices to being used in conjunction, but still keep the game experience as the priority.
- Pushmo. The QR code contains a user created puzzle level. A preview of the level is on left of the QR code and the title of the level at the top.
- Freakyforms: Your creations, Alive! The QR code contains a user created creature. As with Miis, look for more shared creatures on the web.
- StreetPass Mii Plaza. The QR code contains a user created Mii that can be used for any Mii supported 3DS game.
- Animal Crossing: New Leaf. The QR code is used in the fabric shop and you can download various fabrics for clothes and miscellaneous items.
Unlock Special Content
Another way developers have used this concept is by placing QR codes in various printed material such as magazines. players can then scan the QR code and unlock content inside the game.
- Pokedex 3D. The QR code can be scanned to add a new pokémon to the Pokédex to view a 3D render of the pokémon and compare its stats.
Additional Game Info/Marketing
This type of QR code is used with home consoles more than handhelds with built in cameras and QR code scanners. The player will use their own device, such as a mobile phone or tablet to scan a QR code. Once the codes are scanned they usually send the player to a website that contains additional information about the game or downloads.
- Borderlands. The QR codes are found while you control the character around the game. They’re cleverly posted on walls.
- Nintendo has started creating QR codes for their digital 3DS’s eShop. When the code is scanned using the Nintendo 3DS it will send the player directly to a particular game in the eShop to download.
How Can This Work for Your Business?
The game developers thought outside of the box when they started using QR codes for specific content links. How can you use their ideas to implement QR codes shared content in your business?
Everything you have that consumers want can have the buyer’s purchase experience enhanced with downloadable content. Manufacturers of exercise equipment, for example, have workout charts included with weights and such to show workout videos via QR codes.
- Any business that deals with consumables can share user created recipes and photos of different uses for the product.
- Tips and tricks as special content can add value to a purchase or just build consumer trust and loyalty.
- Add some fun online things for kids to use while their parents shop (yes, it’s subliminal advertising if you have scavenger hunts like, “find the Oreo Cookies”) and earn parental appreciation for making the shopping experience easier while you indoctrinate the next generation of consumers to learn and trust your store/company name.
- Have QR codes for customers to participate in a loyalty program that requires scanning a QR code, for a coupon they can share with friends via the QR code (assuring opting-in for those who wish to participate).
Those are just a few ideas but QR codes are limited only by their ability to be scanned and what you can imagine as content to which they can be linked. Best of all, you can generate a QR code for FREE!