Is This the Beginning of the End for QR?

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QR, is already time to say goodbye? We hardly knew you!

If Google’s recent actions are any indicator, then QR codes — those “Quick Read” matrix barcodes you see on websites, products, and posters — might be going the way of the dinosaur. Last week, all QR codes mysteriously vanished from the Google Places Dashboard. Must be a mistake, right? Nope. Apparently, removing the QR codes was all part of Google’s plan.

“Users will no longer find unique QR codes in their Places accounts. We’re exploring new ways to enable customers to quickly and easily find information about local businesses from their mobile phones,” Google told Blumenthals.

So, if they aren’t using QR, what will Google use instead? It seems that the company wants to test out Near Field Communications or NFC. Not only can NFC do what QR can, but the technology can also be used as a contactless card and transfer information from peer to peer. Instead of having to use your smartphone camera to read the QR barcode, persons with NFC-enabled devices just tap their phone against the target, and the information is transferred.

Google believes so much in the NFC technology that they put a built-in NFC chip in their new Nexus, and have been testing the technology as a form of payment. According to the Wall Street Journal, Google is also working with MasterCard and Citygroup to put NFC technology in their Android smartphones — so you can soon simply wave your phone to pay for that latte.

Of course, some credit cards already have a contactless chip embedded in the plastic, rendering the need to swipe your card useless. But few people are aware that their card has this technology, and since you have to pull your card out of your wallet anyway, it’s somewhat pointless. NFC-technology on our phones means we won’t have to carry around our wallets — as an added bonus, it’s actually harder to steal your personal information from this technology than from the magnetic strip on your card.