Are QR codes still worth using?
Pyrotec - Oct 29th, 10:38
QR (quick response) codes have been around since 1994. However, it wasn’t until somewhere between 2010 and 2011 that they became commonplace, primarily because smartphone technology added a new layer to the codes, creating a gateway to many different forms of content.
Fast-forward to 2019, and QR codes don’t have the same hype they had eight years ago. The rapid speed at which technology has advanced, combined with the rise of social media has seemingly rendered QR codes redundant.
Or has it? QR codes could still have an important role to play in the business-to-consumer relationship. And it might just be that new technology is leading the charge in their resurgence.
What is a QR code?
QR codes are scannable barcodes that ask users to interact with some form of content, such as directing them to a website or getting them to take a specific course of action.
QR codes today
Instead of QR codes finding themselves consigned to the digital scrap heap, improvements in technology have reinvented them for the modern world. In fact, QR codes are now used by millions, thanks to the estimated 2.91 billion people who use a smartphone daily.
Today, websites are better equipped to deal with mobile use and smartphone cameras can scan codes directly without needing an app. Almost 50% of people access the internet on their phones, and the importance of browsing the net on a mobile device has increased significantly.
But it’s not only marketing departments that are benefiting from the resurgence of QR codes. The pharmaceutical industry is finding ways to implement these codes to save time and increase security.
QR codes in the pharmaceutical industry
Another form of QR codes is security codes (SQR), which help to change how people have secure access to important items. SQR codes allow both private and public information to be stored within a code, which means part of an SQR code on a medical product can offer information for everyone to read or be restricted so that only qualified medical professionals have access.
They can be used for several tasks, including combating counterfeiting, confirming identities, detecting fraud, and keeping certain information confidential.
With QR codes likely to become mandatory on medical products, their importance is set to increase even further. Ultimately, QR codes will make accessing information about medicine easier and help to reduce the number of counterfeit products on the market.
So, in answer to the question of whether QR codes are still worth using? It looks like they’ve never been more important than they are now.
Devices such as Pyrotec PackMedia’s Fix-a-Form® booklet labels are a practical way to include QR codes onto product packaging without compromising the packaging’s aesthetics.
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In South Africa, there are many regulations relating to the production, marketing and labelling of food to protect consumers.
Flexible film is a popular packaging format for food, cosmetics, pharmaceutical, and building products. The launch of Markem-Imaje’s three new thermal transfer overprinters (TTO), with new-to-market functionality, makes it quicker to code these surfaces while improving costs by providing deeper insights into production downtime and minimising mistakes. Markem-Imaje is locally represented in South Africa by Pyrotec PackMark.
Coding and marking includes barcodes, serialisation codes, and expiry or ‘best by’ dates. Their purpose is to keep manufacturers, retailers and consumers informed about a product, its origin, authenticity, and shelf-life.
For product identification and traceability solutions, Markem-Imaje, locally represented by Pyrotec PackMark, is a trusted global manufacturer that offers reliable and innovative inkjet, thermal transfer, laser, and print and apply label systems.