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Toyota Manufacturer Recalls Open Source Use of QR codes

In what is likely to cause an overwhelming groan among marketers and technologically savvy consumers (and cheers among designers and IT staff ), QR code inventor, Denso Wave has issued a cease and desist order to all users of this open source tool.  Invented by the Toyota subsidiary Denso Wave in 1994 to track vehicles during the manufacturing process, this two dimensional bar code has been hailed as the savior of print, marketing budgets, and the ever-dwindling use of online commerce.

Speaking through a translator, Denso Wave President and Chief Executive Officer Mitsuhiko Masegi, expressed regret in taking this unprecedented legal action, stating, “I regret taking this unprecedented legal action.”  Masegi went on further to explain, “The QR (Quick Response) code was originally designed to improve productivity for manufacturers.  We wanted to offer this tool as a way of helping businesses focus on streamlining their operations.  Sadly, however, it seems people use it just to focus on their smartphones.”

Masegi noted increasing trends in the insulting use of variations of the code name itself into everyday pop culture.  “The bastardization of this worldwide brand is totally out of control. Last week I read where Prince, who once, as the artist formerly known as Prince had an extremely poor experience using a symbol to convey a message, had re-released his hit single, Let’s Go Qrazy!  And even one of my favorite American Country cross-over artists, Lionel Ritchie, has somehow re-created a new smash hit with the late Patsy Cline in a duet titled, Qrazy for You! In my honest opinion, this is just a bunch of Qrap!  Uh, I mean crap!”

Masegi commented that most Americans don’t fully appreciate that value of QR Codes.  He pointed to a recent study that claimed QR codes were dead in part because only 21.5% of American college students were able to recognize a QR code.  Masegi responded, “That’s still higher than the percentage of American college students that can  actually read. ‘Nuff said.”

Further evidence of corporate QR code misconduct can be found in names of entities and services providing guidance on this now obsolete code.  QReateandTrack, BeQRious, TrakQR are just a few of those domain names that will have to consider their response to this cease and desist action.

Citing what he called egregious usage flaws and borderline usage stupidity, Masegi relayed these most offensive trends he has witnessed –

  • Codes placed along posters and turnstiles in subway stations, where there is no connectivity.
  • Codes placed on billboards located on interstate highways.  Many of these are PSA type billboards encouraging drivers NOT to text and drive.
  • Codes tattooed on the lower back of college coeds. So low in fact that you really can’t get a good scan unless they are in beach attire, in a very skimpy bikini.
  • Edible QR codes.

In reference to the last offense, an obviously agitated Masegi noted, “Who in their sane mind would eat a QR code?  Even with liberal amounts of good saki, that makes no sense to me.”  Masegi offered the photo below as proof of the ongoing  insanity. 

Ironically, Masegi  pointed out that when one scanned the original QR cupcakes above, on what are now popularly referred to as QRupcakes,  the end user simply received the message, “Bite Me.” 

And apparently, that is what triggered the current legal action.

 

Happy April 1st, 2012!

QR Code is registered trademark of DENSO WAVE INCORPORATED.

 

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Paul Strack, CustomXM

@pstrack

Move Over QR Codes; There’s Some Thunder from Down Under

While still reeling from yesterday’s announcement that Google killed the QR code, even more disturbing news will come out of Australia tomorrow (due to the time zone difference) about the future of our 2D friend.  For the unwashed, a QR, or Quick Response code, is a two-dimensional bar code that bridges the gap between the physical (printed) world and the digital world. 

I subscribe to an obscure Australian blog entitled G‘day Print. It’s a cutting edge blog devoted entirely to the proliferation of print in the land Down Under.  Recent topics described success stories using innovative printing techniques to increase attendance at local footy matches and green printing initiatives used in Fairy Floss packaging.

The latest entry that caught my attention was a digital code that was not only as innovative and fast as QR codes, but even more powerful than the up and coming NFC (near field communication) technology, called PDQ codes.  (After doing more digging, I found the PDQ moniker is only temporary, meaning Pretty Damn Quick).  The codes are flexible enough where size doesn’t really matter. They can be printed on the largest pair of daks, or the smallest of Australian rubbers. But the most amazing facts about these codes are that in addition to becoming as ubiquitous as QR Codes, they have the ability to be specifically targeted for different market segments, and they have the ability to function way out in the Woop Woop where there is little or no connectivity.

As a paid subscriber to the G‘day Print  blog (These mates are crafty with their pay wall restrictions), I was able to obtain some yet unreleased information about the first attempt at a targeted PDQ code.

So consider this…you have a code that is extremely easy to scan by phone, or if there is little or no connectivity, scan via THE HUMAN EYE, instantaneously giving you the immediate information you need to engage, react, or interact. The paid sneak preview of this code allowed me to view one targeted specifically for the health care industry, the outdoor game acquisition industry, and the higher-end retail industry. 

Imagine this:

The code for the health care industry assists medical professionals in immediate identification of a patient’s area of need.

The code for the outdoor game acquisition industry enables users to increase their effect ROI.

And the code used for the higher-end retail industry gives immediate notification of a more hip, cooler experience than your average discount retailer.

Amazingly enough, all of this is accomplished with a single code.

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 Paul Strack, CustomXM