QR codes: 5 popular complaints (and why they’re wrong)

Almost 80 percent of college students don’t know how to scan a QR code, but this author thinks the trend will catch on. What do you think?

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A recent study revealed 79 percent of college students have no idea how to scan a QR code.

Let that sink in for a second. Four out of five 18- to 22-year-olds don’t know what to do when they see an ugly barcode slapped on a print ad targeted to them.

If college kids can’t grasp a new technology at the crossroad of social and mobile, it must be a bust. Right?

Not exactly.

Yes, the data is disappointing to any company that jumped on the QR code bandwagon, but I think it’s premature to write off the technology as a failure.

Here are five popular complaints about QR codes and why they aren’t as bad as you might think:

1. “Only 5 percent of adults scan QR codes.”

Five percent doesn’t sound like much, but it’s still 14 million people! And don’t forget, only 35 percent of U.S. adults actually own smartphones, which means 65 percent of the population can’t even scan the codes. As smartphones continue to proliferate, QR code adoption should continue to rise.

2. “QR codes clutter printed materials.”

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