Is there a good reason for a personal QR Code?

in Technology, Uncategorized No Comments


I was watching television and a commercial for a product I had never heard of before came on the air.  The ad was for a Skanz bracelet or band as they call it, with a QR code containing personal information.  As I watched the commercial I was totally confused – the message was that it would now be easier, than ever before, for me to share my personal information – but was this something I’d been missing in my life?   

Hmmm, do I really need a QR coded bracelet with my personal information?  And if I don’t, who does?

Skanz is a new company that allows you to put your entire online persona, contact info, Facebook page, Twitter feed, LinkdIn profile, Tumblr account, etc. in one place accessible via QR code. You can place your personal QR code on an iPhone case or Skanz band in any of the styles below:

Sporting one of these turns you into a walking advertisement for yourself. When you meet someone new, all they have to do is scan your code and they have instant access to everything you want them to know about you.

I knew immediately that that this was not going to work for me.  But still, I was intrigued, and I quickly identified a handful of uses for the Skanz technology.

One thing that came to mind is the ease with which medical history would be made available for emergencies.  It certainly could replace the current medical alert bracelet.   For marketers, if an ad contained the right code, the wearer of the Skanz band could flash their personal QR bracelet and either order the product or get more information about the product without much effort.   Two truly one-to-one experiences brought to you by Skanz.

From a research viewpoint, we are still hungry for source data that can more closely connect the consumer, their media behavior and product purchase.  Today, there are research companies that are asking their participants to carry pagers and even a specially modified Smartphone with which to record their behavior.  Perhaps we could take advantage of the QR code technology to tell us which media, and more importantly which advertisements, the wearer is exposed to on a very timely basis.  

Skanz has created a product for a problem that never before existed.   But I wonder if some smart research company is not thinking how they could take advantage of a respondent’s willingness to wear their own QR code and truly change the measurement of all advertising regardless of the medium used to convey the message.  All it would take would be for the medium to have the technology to read the Skanz information on the research participants’ hand.

There are several barriers to widespread adoption of Skanz and other QR Code-based technology.  As a research instrument the technology would have to be easy to use for all age segments of the population.   For marketers who are familiar with the benefits of using BAR codes this technology might offer more immediate return path information about their customers.  It took some time for the now familiar BAR codes to gain widespread adoption and only time will tell if there is interest in moving to Skanz QR codes to enhance our information on consumer behavior.

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