Those little blocks of data, known as QR (quick response) codes, might not be very popular here in the States, but they have taken off in Asia and remain a popular way for individuals to interact and share information. According to a China QR Code Market Study by Kleiner Perkins in 2013, China is now seeing 9 million QR codes in asia scanned every month for various purposes, from using them to pay for goods, to exchanging contact information, to redeeming promotions and coupons. It is a convenient resource to condense a lot of information into one little square and this is can be a clever way to engage the large smartphone-owning population in Asia. What are some unique ways in which QR codes are being utilized in Asia?
1) “Call up” the deceased
A cemetery in Shenyang, China, is proposing plans to incorporate QR codes on graves as an additional services that relatives can purchase. By scanning this code with a mobile device, the obituaries of the deceased will pop up and they can find out about that person’s life. More than 10 people have already applied for the service, as they find that this is a convenient way to share their loved ones’ stories.
2) Pay your bills
App usage in Thailand increased from 40 percent in 2012 to 57 percent in 2013, and companies have taken advantage of this noticeable leap by making their applications more efficient and allowing more tasks to be done through the smartphone. Thailand’s Metropolitan Electricity Authority recently launched an application that can generate a QR code or a barcode for users to show at a 7-11 convenience store counter to pay the utility bill quickly and conveniently!
3) Scan QR codes for rewards
Phewtick, a startup in Tokyo, Japan, wants people to interact with each other by scanning his or her QR code through the app. The more people you meet, the more QR codes you have scanned, and the more points you earn towards cash rewards. The app currently has 600,000 registered users and is hoping to encourage people to get into the habit of scanning QR codes in asia. This could be a great way for merchants and brands to get their name out, once this habit is more ingrained in smartphone pop culture.
4) Go grocery shopping
Instead of going to a supermarket after work, why not shop in a virtual grocery store? Tesco, which renamed itself to Homeplus in South Korea, has created virtual stores to help busy individuals with their shopping. These virtual stores can be found in high human traffic areas, like the subway, which can help to increase efficiency and make the most of the time spent waiting for the subway! The goods are marked with QR codes, and after scanning and purchasing the items, the items will be delivered right to the user’s doorsteps.
5) Create your custom QR Code
Want to get started? MavSocial allows users to create and customize their own QR code within the platform. These codes can then be shared in a variety of ways. Happy QR coding!