Barcodes have been in commercial use for over 30 years and during that time, people have always been attempting to find new and ingenious ways of putting them to good use. We have looked at some of the most innovative ways businesses have used barcodes to either reach more customers or to just entertain them.
QR codes have somewhat struggled to be adopted by retailers across Europe and in the US, but across Asia they are very popular and can be found everywhere. Tescos decided to encourage time-strapped Korean to shop with them through their virtual shop found in subways and metro stations. The Tesco shops were nothing more than grocery images with QR codes attached those customers could scan and have delivered to their home while on the commute. We are not sure if this business model could work anywhere else in the world but it a clever way to engage with shoppers using 2D barcodes.
Barcode scanning apps are nothing new but how consumers are using them is something entirely new . The money conscious shopper can scan a barcode to find the best online price for a product but now apps have been created for consumers to track their food intake, monthly budgets and even catalogue their CD collections. Barcodes use to be purely for business use, now consumers can use them to completely organise their lives.
Even games are making use of the common, unassuming barcode! Games such as Codemon get players to scan barcodes of house hold items to find creatures or spells they can battle with friends. In app purchases allow the player to upgrade their creatures and buy weapons for battle. Having tested out a few of these games, they are rather addictive and get you emptying your kitchen shelves in a bid to find more creatures to add to your collection.
Registration at large scale events can be a nightmare involving thousands of people, especially if you are depending on a traditional paper based system. Cross-referencing names with contact details and then finding the right name tag or information pack just adds to the stress of it all for events teams. This is why barcoded badges or wristbands are a fantastic innovation. A quick scan of a barcode allows for instant entry and exit of events while also keeping attendees contacts information on a digital record, for follow up contact.