by Tine Thygesen
coming of age -
it can improve
What is scanning?
Scanning is the common word
for technologies that are
shortcuts to quickly access
information found ofﬂine on
your phone online. Most
scanners today are optical
scanners. They include bar
codes, QR codes, clickable
paper, labels, etc.
With their mobile a person
scans a code, which sends
them directly to a page with
more information. Its a faster
alternative to typing in a url.
But scanning isn’t just QR, and
it does hold several advantages
1. It’s the fastest method for a consumer
As technologies are getting more advanced, scanning is now
often to most efﬁcient want to transmit a lot of information fast.
2. Scanning is getting huge
In particularly in Asia and developing marketing, but the trend is
moving west and consumers are more and more willing to scan.
In Asia, scanning is exploding
Recent stats show
that QR code
scanning rates have
And it works in the West too - more TV
viewers scan than use the twitter #
Among 1,000 television viewers
28% had interacted with a QR
Code, vs. 18% with a Twitter
Says 2012 research by
Accenture on effectiveness of
consumer engagement triggers.
The proportion of
individuals interacting with
QR Codes during the 2012
London Olympics was
36% higher than with
At the Olympics QR beat Foursquare
the classic utilization
Scanning has mostly been used in
advertising, in forms of QR codes directing a
consumer to buy or engage with a brand.
While this is convenient is has given
scanning a bad name, as something that’s
trying to sell you something, rather than help
Marketeers now need to utilize scanning in
new and more helpful ways in order to win
back trust and engage in a meaningful way.
More people are more happy to scan codes if it
saves them time or hassle than for any other purpose.
Apps that make daily life easier
‣ price comparison
‣ showing the nearest vendor
‣ tracking ingredients in your food
‣ rewards and loyalty schemes
Most nurseries in Korea
provide QR code tags with
By giving people the option
of scanning, consumers
can read detailed
information about the plant
and become empowered
Detailed info about complex products
Image by Wallpoper
My mobile memory
outsource their memory
to their phones.
The Vivino app lets wine
drinkers scan the label to
access info, ratings and
save to favorite lists.
Users can share reviews,
and remember their
Fast mobile check-in, rather than queuing
Hotels today subject guests to a
time-consuming check-in process.
This is a hassle for consumers, and
expensive for hotels. So in 2014, the
travel industry will see more mobile
hotel check-in and mobile ticketing.
The airline equivalent, mobile boarding
passes, save the industry up to
US$1.5 billion every year because they
don't need to be printed on expensive
paper and facilitate off-airport check-in
Service customers in oﬀ-hours
Continue providing outstanding customer
service, even outside of normal working hours.
The Visitors Bureau in Glendale, Arizona,
provides a QR code for visitors that come
outside of opening hours. The code directs
customers to the information asked by most.
Hotel Jazz in Barcelona has a QR code on their website. Guests can import
the hotel’s contact information into their phones for a hassle-free experience.
Practical hotel info made handy
QR self guided tour
In Long Beach, WA, home to the longest beach in the
world, QR code tours can take visitors on a tour
“A self-guided walking tour of Discovery Trail begins
here. Headed north or south along the 8.5 mile long
Trail, you will ﬁnd a total of 19 QR codes containing
information about the sites on the route”
QR code travel information put up in strategic places is
ideal for tourists who want to explore at their own pace.
It gives travelers ﬂexibility, and reduces stafﬁng costs for
Image by Don Briggs
Be creative like in Rio
Codes can go on
anything, as illustrated
by these pavement
mosaics in Rio!
Located in 30 of the
most popular locations
around the city, travelers
can access info and
maps in English,
Get in touch
The UK embassy in
passersby to follow their
Weibo account via a QR
An elegant way to
connect with travelers,
Very convenient shopping
Any unused wall space can be turned into a shop. In the metro in Seoul and in
Russia shoppers scan and buy every day items such as milk and bread with their
phones on the platform while they are waiting for the train. The goods are then
delivered straight to their homes.
And in 2012, grocery
chain Tesco’s opened the
world’s ﬁrst full size virtual
This enables them to have
all the products in a
warehouse outside town
where rent is much
cheaper, and to stock a
larger selection of
Economics of real estate favors virtual shops
Unmanned shops & up-selling
Even if you don’t have
space for a shop in front of
your hotel, museum, or
tourist ofﬁce, a poster with
codes can act as an
unmanned bar or shop
Services like Qbuy enables
any business to let guests
order food, drinks and
products in the comfort of
their homes or rooms, and
have their normal staff
prepare and deliver.
Old libraries are sadly
expensive and often
rarely used. But here is
a modern alternative; a
library inside a subway
People scan the book
to rent it, and it is the
delivered at home.
Rethinking public service
So to sum it up.
Scanning enables you to
1: inform better with utility,
2: service better, and
3: sell more
Not half bad!
By Tine Thygesen, @tahitahi
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Sources and images
Long Beach image by http://www.ﬂickr.com/photos/donbriggs/4012829548/
Plant background: http://wallpoper.com/images/00/45/03/14/desktop-plants_00450314.jpg
Wine background: http://www.brooklynwineexchange.com/images/image/wine.jpg
Library background: http://charmingandchic.ﬁles.wordpress.com/2012/10/99604-050-cdda2f15.jpg
Sunshine background: http://kkelly6th.edublogs.org/ﬁles/2011/02/DSCN5437-zrrgvt.jpg
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