Mobile Barcodes Are Going Nowhere Unless The Big Players Start Using Them

Mobile Barcodes Are Going Nowhere Unless The Big Players Start Using ThemThe wait has been on for years in terms of mass mobile barcode adoption.  Even though the massive potential in the concept exists, it’s still very much hindered by lack of consumer knowledge.

This is what I’ve always said, and now it looks like barcode companies themselves are singing the same tune.  “The biggest thing currently holding back the 2D barcode industry is a lack of education, says Iain McCready, CEO with NeoMedia.  Educating consumers will only take place when big players such as Facebook and Google start aggressively pushing barcodes.  Once consumers are confronted with the technology head-on by services they use everyday, adoption will follow.

GoMo News posted a great article covering many of McCready’s thoughts on 2D barcodes, and I think he’s spot on with most of his observations.  He says the industry will soon thrive because the barcodes themselves are now “open” standards, and that proprietary codes will disappear as a result.  Microsoft is a perfect example- their proprietary barcode format has gone nowhere.

Another important aspect is the concept of indirect barcodes instead of direct.  A direct barcode, for example, would point to a specific URL set when the barcode is created, whereas an ‘indirect’ code is resolved Online in real-time, meaning the URLs or any other associated action can be changed.  This opens up much more potential and possible use-cases.

The big players, such as Google and Facebook, are already toying with the idea of using barcodes- both have introduced QR codes for minor interaction, for example, but it will be until mass roll out occurs to get consumers educated and ready for mobile barcodes.  We’re not there yet, but the time is rapidly approaching.