We may not realize it yet, but we are on the dawn of completely wearable mobile devices. When we wake up today, that day has arrived. Sure, people scoffed at Google Glass while competitors are gearing up for grabbing their share of the market and, of course, the recent release of the Apple Watch means marketers need to understand a new set of rules for using QR codes as they will be a huge part of print-to-digital linking with wearables.
An incredible world of functions and interactivity between real world and digital life. Watch what the woman is doing at :40 seconds. See how the QR code is being used? Why would Apple include such a function for personal digital interaction and not use NFC? It seems Apple sees a future for QR codes in their world.
Wearables offers more chances to grab the wearer’s attention. While people are always within ten feet of a mobile device, wearables are ON the person all day long. Information is viewed as the wearer walks down the street, drives to work, sits in an office or cafe. THAT is where the wearer is most susceptible to marketing pitches and QR codes supply the easiest, tested, trackable method for pulling in the consumer.
Wearables, such as Google Glass, is always on the lookout for information sources. “Where are the restaurants on this street?” BAM! Information is retrieved. With the advances in QR codes and image recognition, codes and embedded image links will also be registered on wearable information retrieval, letting the user know a link is available.
Why are QR Codes Important?
Even now, QR code linking has, despite the naysayers, increased in global usage, including an increasing number of cities that use QR code technology for their transit systems and more. With wearables, QR codes will offer quick recognition and faster scanning ability.
The same, basic rules will apply for marketers. Keep the QR code large and accessible enough for easy scanning, have a specific call-to-action for scanning the QR code, and give the viewer something special for scanning the code.
Mauro Casula, the CTO of Mobile Leaves, which owns uQR.me, says:
“We’re very excited at what wearable devices offer for marketers, cities and businesses with QR codes. Visual links will change for the environment. For instance, the uQR.me QR code “beautifier” offers a way to embed a QR code directly as a design element and not just a black and white code slapped on in a corner. This will trigger the information retrieval in the wearable immediately.”
“Of course,” Continues Casula, “QR code technology will continue to evolve. Statistics offer a great way for users to start planning their marketing using QR codes. From there, following some basic usage rules, you can only succeed.”
New Rules for QR Code Usage
While all of the old rules still apply, designing ads with QR code linking will need to change.
- The codes must be bigger, brighter and more recognizable as QR codes. Using a “beautifier” with the main design will appear as a pattern – part of the overall design and increase scans because the code is large and scannable from a distance as well as close up.
- A QR code must be in available line-of-sight of the viewer. Placement is everything!
- Keep that call-to-action message and tell people about scanning the code.
- Responsive design will expand to wearables, so make sure your linked site is able to be easily viewed on all mobile devices.
- Always connect with the viewer. Send them a message that seems tailored to them. It’s almost like a greeting card. You are touched by the message… as is 50,000 other people who get the very same card.
When wearables are the norm for global consumers, you will see more QR codes embedded in ads, videos, and everything else, all scannable and easy to process by the wearer. Prepare to be a part of it.