QR codes come to life just in time to be killed by NFC

QR codes come to life just in time to be killed by NFC


There’s an awful lot of talk about using NFC (Near Field Communications) as a way of discovering content, accessing mobile sites or paying for coffee, tickets etc.

The experience is, in theory, very simple, anyone that has used an Oyster card in London has already done it. Just tap and go. Many devices next year, including offerings from Blackberry, Samsung and Nokia will have embedded NFC chips.

But seeing this poster at Bath station, made me think about the much maligned QR code.

QR Code poster

QR Code Poster at Bath Spa station

Why did these guys never catch on? The kids thought it was ‘cool’ both able to download readers in a few minutes on their respective devices (Nokia N8 and Blackberry Bold) and, very quickly they had the desired train timetable on their phones.

Are QR codes now, finally entering the mainstream (I mean if First Great Western are using them…) , but where would you use one where you would not use NFC given that the end result is very similar?

It would be ironic if the QR code finally broke through now, just as it seems it will be swallowed up by NFC, another ‘old dog’ technology that looks like it’s also about to get its day in the sun.