The Resident Connection, Written Posts

Google Discontinues QR Codes for Place Pages and Shifts Focus to NFC

5 Comments 03 April 2011

Well, that didn’t last long!  Just last year Google was sending me “We’re a Favorite Place on Google” window stickers with QR codes on them.  Apparently this isn’t promoted any longer.   Does Google know something we don’t?  Maybe.  It appears Google is focusing their efforts to NFC (near field communications) technology.  You may have heard some buzz around turning your cell phone into a quick swipe credit card with this technology.  While you might be hesitant to set that up, it seems Google has some other ideas for NFC anyway.

What Google is banking on, it appears, is that companies definitely look at this technology beyond the buzz for credit card use.  With Android phones continuing to grow their market share that could make sense.  As I think about it, maybe Google has more control over the fate of NFC than we can predict.

I thought I was so clever with my QR codes post last Sunday, but here I am again a week later practically discounting the format all together.  However, my message is still the same.  Whatever is at the other end of the rainbow, whether it’s through a QR code or NFC transmission, it helps if it’s unique.  One may argue, though, that using NFC is easier for the consumer.  Because it only requires a wave of a phone and not a process to open an app and scan something with your camera, maybe users will be inclined to use this technology more frequently?

Apple has it’s fanboys, and I will admit I’m a bit of a Google fanboy.  Sure, they’ve had their flops, but this seems to be a logical play for them.  Amazing how one thing can potentially be replaced by another so quickly.  It will take some time for more phones to have NFC capability, but it probably is the better strategy for Google in the long run.  In the meantime, I feel that QR codes, for many, can be used for some interesting marketing purposes.  We’ll probably look back on them and laugh in 2-3 years though.

  • Anonymous

    Hey Mark,
    What is fascinating is how quickly some of this stuff gets dumped. google Wave, which I thought was really cool, QR Codes, Delicious, and so forth.

    The play with NFC is that it has significant scale straight out of the box, everyone already uses credit, and has a phone,

    • It says 3 things to me.

      1. Sometimes an idea will fail.
      2. Constantly be innovating.
      3. Don’t be afraid to fail because you’re trying to innovate.

  • Shouldn’t qr code reading be built into the default camera app instead of requiring a separate app?

    • Yes, you would think that would be the way things evolve. Surprised it hasn’t happened yet. Just don’t know if these are a flash in the pan anyway.

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