Picture of year in travel technology – QR Codes poised to head down the toilet

QR Codes became one of the most polarised initiatives in digital marketing during 2011, with people either loving them as another tool to engage consumers or just wishing they would just go away.

So with that tension in mind, and as luck would have it during a trip to a conference this year in Holland, Tnooz found the perfect image to demonstrate both points of view.

In October the Hotel Casa 400 in Amsterdam posted signs above every urinal in the male toilets, each with a QR code which would direct, err, users to a page on the property’s website.

One the one hand the use of codes in the toilets shows some degree of imagination – capture guests during seemingly idle moments, let them know about various services the hotel offers.

But surely there are practical considerations here, right? Or is there some QR Code etiquette?

Presumably users are expected to snap the code with their smartphones while they use the toilet, or, more hygienically, do they come back after washing their hands, politely asking the person now perhaps occupying the area to step aside for a moment?

Jokes aside, such a scenario illustrates why some consider QR Codes to be nothing short of an annoyance and waste of time.

Neverthless, QR Codes do appear to be popular with marketers, attempting to capture the apparent zeitgeist before the next gizmo comes along.

Indeed, Tnooz has heard of at least one European tour operator which placed a QR Code within a press display ad and saw “significant levels of activity” as a result.

Here is an infographic which illustrates some of the key datapoints from QR Codes, in terms of how they are used.

rise of the QR code

It appears for the time being that QR Codes will survive (or, at least, not find themselves flushed down the toilet just yet), but realistically they will only last until something better comes along.

But with the speed in which smartphone cameras and Near Field Communications are developing, QR Coders haters will probably not have to wait too long… just a few more trips to the gents.

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Kevin May

About the Writer :: Kevin May

Kevin May was a co-founder and member of the editorial team from September 2009 to June 2017.

 

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  3. Jason King

    Not totally down the toilet. Have a Ratings Patent for sale with a proven track record in advertising & writing. Jason King

     
  4. David

    QR codes may be heading down the toilet, but pointless, poorly executed data graphics are thriving.

     
    • Not an infographic designer

      Indeed, only about 25% of that graphic is really useful or legible. I’ve seen some that are successful, but they are nearly as much a fad as the QR code will prove to be.

       
 
 

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