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why QR code phones?

August 19, 2004

Why do all new Japanese phones include the ability to read QR codes?

Are people in Japan including a QR encoded version of their contact info on their business cards, for ready scanning?

Scanning products at the bricks-and-mortar stores to compare prices or add them to your wishlist?

Anyone know why the Japanese find this so useful?


From → Gadgets

  1. Good explanation here.

  2. rama permalink

    i find it hard to believe all new phones would have this feature just to jump to a URL on a poster or something, as that URL suggested.
    Surely there are other uses…??

  3. rama – I think I’m gonna ask my friend who now lives in Tokyo. Surely he must find his Docomo phone with QR reader useful, living in Japan and all… šŸ™‚
    I do like the idea of being able to “import” your contact info via simply reading the code.

  4. Roy permalink

    The only thing special about the Japanese business cards I’ve seen is that they have English on one side and Japanese on the other.

  5. It’s a marketing gimmick first, and a very handy shortcut second, I think. As the author of the page you got that image from (or rather, the page that other blog site you lifted it from got theirs from, it’s still being drawn from my server. You get a lot of visits, and I’m digressing) I’ve done a lot of reading about the codes.

    Advertisers can use this to allow phone users to quickly hotlink a webpage or email address. Business people can use it to immediately give any phone user (which is everone in Japan) punch in contact details including names, phone numbers, email address (yes, plurals of each), addresses, etc. without typing a thing or spending any time doing it. Point, click, done.

    I believe it’s a gap filler, bridging the phones that don’t have any speedy input facility with RFID-enabled phones that will pick up this info (and possibly much more) without having to stop and aim your phone’s camera at a grid somewhere.

    It’s convenient and it’s cheap, any printer can create the code, you can put it on a poster or anything else you can imagine. At least one company makes rubber stamps with QRCodes so you can stamp your URL or email anywhere you like.

    It’s also free, unlike competing alternatives like Bango, QR Codes are an ISO standard. It’s also very widespread, all new Japanese phones (for the last two years or so) support it, and that’s a lot of phones. Most Japanese users upgrade their phone every 1.5 years.

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