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QR Code Usage In Japan

Some of my friends must’ve been tired listening to my constant complaining about how slow it is for Australia to adopt QR Code usage. QR Code is what I believe to be the link between print media and the web. And contrary to popular belief, I think print media is not going to die anytime soon.

I spotted the first QR Code in Melbourne in July last year. Telstra has been campaigning the use of QR Code, mostly on their products and ads. There have been few magazines using QR Code to link to some pages on their own sites. I’m predicting that this technology will become much more mainstream in Australia within the next 2-3 years, providing steady adoption of smart phones with QR Code support.

During my trip to Japan few weeks ago, I was amazed to find out that QR Code was used everywhere (not literally _everywhere_ of course). I started taking pictures and videos of those QR Codes to the amusement of the locals, something that’s very common to them was very new to me.

Here’s a nice example. On one morning, I was walking to Ikebukuro Station via the underground pass, and I noticed a new Disney poster on the wall.

Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Stitch. Notice the eyes and noses of each character are still visible within the QR Codes.

And here’s the weird scene I witnessed in the evening…

I saw passers by stopping in front of the poster, scanning the codes using their mobile phones. It was so weird for me, but I’m sure, again, it’s very common to them. At that point, I wondered if I would see a similar scene in Melbourne within the next few years.

And a few more…

McDonald’s placed QR Codes on the soft drink cup, burger wrapper, and paper bag amongst other things.

Snack food packaging.

Visa on a passport.

Building guide.

T-shirt tag.

A poster at a mall. Ever thought that one day you would see a large garble of black and white dots just so you can scan it with your mobile phone?

On a magazine.

Ok, I’ll stop here, you’ve got the idea. The above pictures and video are only a few examples where QR Codes were used as links to web pages, but bear in mind that it can be used for many things other than for storing URLs, like nutritional info of a sandwich.

I’m excited to see more uses of QR Code in Australia. Who knows, maybe someday I’ll see one on a coffee cup at a cafe in Melbourne.

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