Practical Applications of QR Codes

Ever since I heard of them I’ve been enthralled with QR codes. Not so much the traditional (and rather “boring”) applications where they simply take users to a web site, but more creative and practical uses that really leverage this technology to convey information and, in some cases, accomplish tasks.

Most recently, for instance, while on a trip and going through the airport security check-in, I spotted another passenger scanning something with his cell phone. A QR code! A QR code that transferred the information from his boarding pass, eliminating the need for a hard copy of the boarding pass. So, you get a confirmation on your phone and just pop it up as you go through the checkpoint. Cool!

It made me wonder what other practical applications there might be for the use of QR codes. After all, the history of these codes stem from a practical use–they were initially used by Toyota, in Japan, to track parts by vehicle manufacturers.

For example:

  • Real estate agents might use QR codes to provide additional detail, video, etc., about properties they have listed.
  • Insurance agents might use QR codes that their clients access to launch an application to file a claim following an accident or other incident.
  • Retailers might add QR codes to their store windows so that, even after hours, customers can shop, check store hours, etc.
  • Restaurants might do the same thing, posting a QR code so patrons interested in evening dining, at a restaurant that doesn’t open until early evening, could check out the menus, pricing, etc.
  • Health care systems might use QR codes to allow patients having surgical procedures, or visiting the emergency room to check-in without a lot of paperwork (similar to the airline example).
  • At conferences, QR codes ¬†might be used to provide detailed agendas, or even a link to handout materials.

There are likely countless other applications. The point is that rather than thinking about QR codes as simply an interesting communication tool, think about how this tool might be leveraged in other, more operational ways, to improve your customer service–or your business operations.

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