QR Code usage explodes in Europe

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Analyst firm, comScore, has published a report showing how QR Code usage in showing massive growth across Europe. The data was compiled using the comScore MobiLens service, from across the EU5 countries: France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom. The report says that QR code usage has increased by 96% in the period of July 2011 to July 2012 and now represents 14.1% of the totally EU5 smartphone audience. While Germany is the largest QR Code audience (around 5 million), Spain has the fastest growth at a remarkable 218% year on year.

The driving usage of QR code usage has been in retrieving product information. This can be seen by the increased amount of QR codes on billboard posters and even TV advertisements. Other uses include, in this order, event information, charity and cause information, coupons and offers, and finally application downloads. QR codes can be used for other tasks that Bluetooth was once used for, such as wireless transfer of digital contact information; this type of use was not shown in the comScore data as it is impossible to track.

There are QR Codes available for all smartphone platforms. However, Windows Phone has QR code scanning built into the Bing Search application and is used on many websites (including the AAWP App Directory) as a way of facilitating easy installation of applications.

It's interesting that actual QR Code usage is on the rise just as everyone but Apple is treating NFC as the latest box to have ticked on device spec sheets. In a sense, the lower bar to entry for utilizing QR Codes makes NFC redundant in many cases, such as exchanging contact details and picking up hyperlinks. As of yet though, QR Codes haven't been used as a mainstream payment method (besides triggering texts to premium numbers as a means of contributing to charitable organisations), and NFC has found a niche in initiating Bluetooth pairing.

Perhaps QR Codes are paving the way for contactless interaction in the public mind-set which will make adoption easier for NFC?

[Via Nokia Conversations]

Source / Credit: comScore