Tag: 2d barcodes

QR codes are expected to make a splash in 2013

QR Codes 2013Stores made out of quick response barcodes are going to be a big hit next year.

A growing number of retailers are bridging the gap between their physical brick and mortar shops and the digital universe through the use of QR codes.

This year, more than three hundred 2d barcode stores popped up all over the world.

As impressive as that may sound, it represents only a fraction of the number that are already in the works for next year. At the moment, more than 2,000 stores based on QR codes are already being planned for launch during 2013.

As mobile devices achieve greater penetration, retailers are finding better uses for QR codes.

Chains of retailers and supermarkets have been seeking a way to span the gap between the real world and the online environment, and QR codes have handed them an affordable, simple, and increasingly recognized way to accomplish this goal. It is also allowing them to bring virtual stores into real life, where they can sell products which are depicted in images virtually anywhere – on billboards, on walls of train stations, in a magazine ad, or even on the product, itself.

Consumers simply need to scan the QR codes related to the product that interests them in order to call up the page that will allow them to quickly order it and have it delivered to their homes. The trend has been taking off and is expected to reach an explosive level next year. Among the primary companies driving this trend is a Dutch internet startup called Shop2Mobi. It gives retailers the ability to create their quick response barcode stores from the ground up.

According to the Shop2Mobi co-founder, Roman Markovski, “Offering customers ultimate convenience, both offline and online, is a huge trend.” The QR codes are already being used by companies worldwide in order to sell their products. They include everything from small businesses to large international corporations such as Walmart, Tesco, Best Buy, and PayPal.

The U.K. and Amsterdam were also the home of special popup stores based on QR codes. These digital malls in the middle of city centers were opened by John Lewis and eBay this year.

QR codes half the diameter of a hair help combat fraud

Helpful QR CodesTiny, microscopic particles make up invisible labels to track and prevent counterfeit products.

The spotlight has been on QR codes in terms of extreme sizes lately, as records are being broken both on the large and small ends of the scale.

Microscopic barcodes are being used as labels to protect against and track counterfeit goods.

The tiny labels are called microtaggants, and they cannot be seen by the naked eye. They are particles which are used for identification on a microscopic level, so that counterfeit goods can either be prevented or tracked. Though there are many different methods that have been used for this process, it now involves the use of QR codes that are small enough to fit in an area as wide as 80 microns – which is about half a human hair’s diameter.

These QR codes may be small, but they were not able to break the current size record.

Though these QR codes on microtaggants may be exceptionally tiny, and are among the smallest in the world, they have not broken the current record. Instead, Trinity College scientists in Dublin, Ireland were able to achieve that goal earlier this year.

Mircrotaggants, which are the labels that hold the tiny QR codes, are a Microtrace LLC registered trademark. This company specializes in technology to battle counterfeiting on a microscopic level. Using the quick response barcodes is only the latest among many innovations that the company has introduced.

QR codes are seen as beneficial for this purpose because they are capable of holding a great deal more information than other types of these microscopic labels. The barcode can be scanned so that this additional data can be provided.

This anti-counterfeiting development with microscopic QR codes were the result of the work of Korean University professors named S. Kwon and W. Park. They and their teams formed these particle based barcodes which were described in their recently published paper that outlined the process. The most recent edition of the journal Advanced Materials (volume 24) included the report, called “Lithographically Encoded Polymer Microtaggant Using High-Capacity and Error-Correctable QR Code for Anti-Counterfeiting of Drugs”, which received added recognition through a cover image.