QR Codes have become a commonplace nature of modern life, popping up on everything from restaurant menus to museum exhibits. But despite their widespread use, there are still many misconceptions surrounding this technology. Because of these misconceptions, some people still fear or outright refuse to use QR Codes. Here on QR Cloud, let’s talk about some of the most common QR Code myths.
Myth #1: QR Codes are only used for advertising
While many advertisers often utilize QR Codes for their marketing campaigns, usually to direct users to a website or a promo, their applications are more than that. For example, QR Codes can be used in manufacturing to track and manage inventory or store personnel or patient information. You can also use them in education to provide links to additional resources or to create interactive lessons and games. Dynamic QR Codes even allow you to store files and images.
Myth #2: QR Codes are difficult to use
Actually, QR codes are very easy to use. You only need a smartphone with a camera or a QR code reader app, which you can download for free from any app marketplace. Just open your camera or the app and point your camera at the QR code. The app will automatically detect and decode the code. There’s no need for you to manually enter a URL or other information, so it’s faster, more convenient, and less prone to human error.
Myth #3: QR Codes are dead
When QR Codes were first introduced to the Internet, they failed to achieve popularity in the Western world. Although already widely used in East Asia, they did not gain mainstream traction until Covid-19 hit. Because QR Codes successfully allowed us contactless transactions, they are now used extensively by businesses and organizations alike.
In addition, QR Codes continue to evolve. Many modern smartphones can now scan QR Codes without a need for a separate application or scanner. Capable devices can use their native cameras to access the contents of a QR Code. Now, we can even customize the appearance of our codes by changing their shapes and colors and adding design elements like logos to make them more visually appealing and on-brand.
Myth #4: QR Codes are only used by tech-savvy millennials and Gen Zs
Of course, millennials and Gen Zs as digital nomads and natives are more likely to adopt new technologies like QR Codes. But in truth, QR Codes are used by people of different ages and backgrounds. They can be used by students and teachers, healthcare professionals, business executives – anyone!
Myth #5: QR Codes are not secure
Of course, like any technology, QR codes can be vulnerable to security threats at the hands of people and entities with fraudulent intentions. But when used correctly and with the right intent, they are just as safe and secure. For example, you can add password protection so they can only be accessed by authorized individuals. As a business, it is up to you to make sure that the QR Codes you use are trustworthy and will not harm your customers and clients. To find out more about how you can increase the security of QR Codes, read our article on QR Code scams.
Myth #6: QR Codes are only for mobile devices
In terms of access, most of us see and use QR Codes using our mobile devices. But we can also use them using tablets, laptops, and even desktop computers. Nowadays, there are lots of free QR Code readers that can help you scan these barcodes and access their contents on any device.
Additionally, we can print QR Codes on business cards, billboards, coffee cups, posters, and documents.
Myth #7: QR Codes are only used in Asia
As we have mentioned before, QR Codes were invented in Japan in 1994 and have been adopted in East Asian countries for years. Nowadays, however, they have gained popularity around the world. Reasons for this worldwide adoption include the continual evolution of the QR technology as well as the need for contactless transactions in recent years. In many countries like the United States, they are widely used as a marketing and advertising tool in various industries.
Myth #8: QR Codes are only used for links
A popular QR Code myth is that QR Codes are only used for URLS but they are actually very versatile. They can be used to encode plain text. They can be used to share files, including PDFs, images and audio recordings. QR Codes can serve as your virtual business card, too. They can even connect you straight to Wi-Fi. Sharing URLs might be the most common way we use QR Codes, but there are more.
Myth #9: QR Codes are only for large businesses
Large corporations, small and medium businesses, and individuals can benefit from QR Codes all the same. In our blogs, we have demonstrated how any kind of business can use them for marketing, payment, and file sharing purposes, among others. We can even use them in a personal capacity in our homes or small offices. Because of their versatility, there is no limit as to who can use QR Codes and leverage their potential.
Myth #10: QR Codes are unreliable
Of course, we can’t deny that some QR Codes are poorly constructed. They can be damaged, too, which makes them unusable. However, QR Codes can be designed to increase error-correction. So, we can still rely on them even if they’ve been damaged to some degree. Static QR Codes that link to web pages will work as long as the web pages work. Dynamic QR Codes that contain files will work as long as there are files uploaded on them.
Myth #11: QR Codes are a passing trend
As we have said before, QR Codes did not gain worldwide adoption until the recent pandemic. But in reality, they have been widely used in Asia for many years. There are no signs that they are slowing down. In fact, as operating systems, devices and QR Code technology continue to evolve, we can only see these 2D barcodes becoming more and more commonplace.
Myth #12: QR Codes are difficult to create
Actually, creating QR Codes is really simple. You only need your phone or computer and a QR Code generator. There’s no coding involved on your part. All you have to do is go to a QR Code generator and encode the information you need to put inside the barcode. That’s it! Of course, to make sure they work as intended, you need to perform a test scan. But doing a test scan only needs a couple of seconds on your part. QR Codes are very simple and easy to create, especially with the right QR Code generator.
Myth #13: QR Codes are not user-friendly
Some people, especially those who are not as technologically savvy, may find it difficult to scan QR Codes. If you know your user base, you can include a simple instruction to help them navigate your QR Code. For example, you can add an icon of a smartphone scanning a QR Code, or a call-to-action that will help your older users know what to do. In addition, you can also provide the link to the URL along with the QR Code as an option for your users.
Myth #14: QR Codes are only used for marketing
If you’ve been reading through our blogs here on QR Cloud, you’d surely get the idea that, no, QR Codes are not only used for marketing. This technology is more than just linking you to web pages. You can use them for asset management in offices and libraries, attendance tracking, adding accompanying details on museum displays, networking, and much more.
Myth #15: QR Codes are only used for mobile payments
The last of the QR Code myths we are tackling today is that QR Codes are only used for mobile payments. Definitely not! We have already discussed their multiple uses – from sending you to a web page, connecting to Wi-Fi, allowing you to get to a specific instant messaging account, and a lot more. While payment and sending money (or crypto assets) is one of the main uses for QR Code nowadays, they are also widely used for various purposes by different industries.