I’m not saying ‘I told you so’ because the sad circumstances that have brought about the mass adoption of QR codes aren’t exactly cause for celebration. I wrote a short newsflash in 2019 while I was at SXSW in praise of the humble QR code and how it was making ride sharing so easy. I initially predicted that Scooters would be the root cause of the rise and rise of QR code usage in the UK too but clearly I didn’t predict a global pandemic!
I’m not quite giving up on my original scooter angle yet though! Yes, Covid-19 has proliferated the current use of QR codes for things like compulsory venue check ins and contactless ordering, but I’m of the belief that these enforced behaviours don’t have unique consumer benefits that are strong enough to endure on a mass scale once we eventually emerge out the other side of this situation. I for one am hopeful that that QR code usage will actually wane in the hospitality industry and I’ll be able to get my hands on a physical menu (and wine list!) again soon.
However, I do think that the sharper focus Covid has put on last mile logistics, as people clamour to find ways to get around without using public transport, will further accelerate the adoption of QR codes in our day-to-day lives. Whether it’s a scooter (my fave), or a bike, or even some weird hybrid I’ve seen buzzing around, unlocking said vehicle using the camera on your smartphone is incredibly quick and convenient. Who doesn’t want that?