Wednesday, July 19, 2006
QR codes to disappear from Japan?
Since their introduction in late 2002, QR codes have become widely used in Japan (according to recent research by DoCoMo, 70% of Japanese mobile owners have used them), but a new development in Japan threatens to make QR codes disappear completely!
IBM Japan have developed a system of printing QR codes which are invisible to the human eye but which can still be captured using a cameraphone. The key to the system is UV-fluorescent ink and a black light LED-equipped cameraphone. The QR code is printed using the ink and when the QR code is captured, the black light LED illuminates the ink enabling the phone to read the hidden code.
QR codes are becoming increasingly common in magazines and other printed materials in Japan, but their use imposes limitations on design and layout. IBM’s hidden QR codes could solve these problems and encourage some interesting QR code usages.
I see some interesting usage scenarios with the hidden QR Code as well.
Nevertheless for the common (wo)man an invisible QR Code will make things extremely difficult. So I think on the usability side this is a desaster.
If I don't know there is a QR Code why should I open my phone to search for it?