QR: The Next Generation

japanese_qrQR codes continue to grow in popularity, yet there’s already a sense that the days of carefully trying to line up your smartphone with those pesky boxes are just about over. While at least one company is working to make the design-challenging squares  invisible, Tokyo’s Hakuhodo recently released another that bypasses it entirely.

The Kokoku Plus mobile app allows users to casually snap a photo of a print advertisement, TV commercial, or pretty much anything, and then receive more information about the topic on their device. The technology uses image-recognition software that compares the image photographed to a database of ads, and then relays to the user any information linked to that image. It also allows the person to interact with the service through certain motions they make. Plunging your phone downwards can download related coupons to your phone, for example.

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As usual, the details of the service are probably far more enticing to companies than the public they’re desperately trying to reach. For starters, Kokoku Plus can factor in the user’s GPS coordinates and time stamp to determine which information to send – a menu for the particular location of a chain restaurant you’re at, for instance. This also potentially helps with tailoring future campaigns.

Currently there are no plans to expand the technology outside of Japan, but it’s only a matter of time before something similar crops up on our shores.

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