A confused crossword puzzle. A psychedelic postage stamp. A barcode on drugs. These images are used to describe QR (quick response) codes in a recent article I read on the increased usage of QR codes for marketing purposes. As a marketer I would agree they are a great tool to have in your arsenal and we have been integrating them into our materials to give more exposure to some of our other online materials - i.e. YouTube videos and customer case studies.
However, as a label manufacturer we are also naturally interested in taking this technology beyond marketing applications and into tracking applications. And we believe it can be done. In order to start accepting this idea you need to not think of tracking information simply in terms of numbers, but rather in terms of information - tracking information about a specific product to be more precise.
For example, imagine you are the manufacturer of some type of industrial equipment. One potential use for QR codes would be to order labels with a QR code linking to an online instruction manual (or video) for your customers to access this information. Not only is the information more easily accessible for your customers, it would also allow you to update any information as needed - virtually eliminating out-of-date information (as long as the link itself doesn't change). Plus, by going paperless there are also potential environmental benefits to be had.
This is just one example demonstrating the feasibility of using a QR code in a traditional tracking application. So you see we are just beginning to see the potential opportunities QR codes afford us for manufacturers and they go way beyond traditional marketing applications.