How COVID turbocharged the QR revolution:
The QR code for retail storefronts is being used by many start-ups. Ombori, based in Stockholm, developed its Grid technology, which allows retailers to display QR codes on a digital screen and gives passers-by the ability to buy goods right from the street after viewing their images and videos.
Today, Michael Schatzberg, the co-founder of a US restaurant group says “Our customers love it”. He is talking about the use of QR codes, a 1990s technology that has proved to be very useful in the Covid era. Many restaurants have switched to technology, allowing clients to see a menu, order and pay only by pointing their smartphone at the black, barcode-like squares. Mr Schatzberg, whose restaurants include Duke's and Big Daddy's in New York says that "They don't have to wait. They can just pay and leave without asking for the bill."
In the mid-90s, QR codes were invented in Japan to track components in the development of vehicles. Compared to regular barcodes, they can carry a large amount of data - up to 2,500 numeric characters compared to the 43 of a barcode. That means that very useful information can all be securely and cheaply held in one small box, including names, locations and website addresses. And reports claim that, instead of the current blocks, Apple may be offering the format an upgrade with dots, circles and colours. Thanks to their capacity to connect the digital world to the physical, QR codes are enjoying their moment in the spotlight.
Many pubs and restaurants have moved rapidly to add QR code systems since the outbreak of the pandemic. Mr Schatzberg says that he saw how five years of a future technology was accelerating at a pace of five months. QR codes are also used by pharmacies. In the US, via a collaboration with PayPal and Venmo at 8,200 stores, CVS is providing touch-free payments. During checkout, the code is checked, and customers simply open either the PayPal or Venmo mobile app and press the 'Scan' button, then select the option 'Display to pay.' Customers need to be users of PayPal or Venmo, or may use their debit and credit cards or bank accounts to pay.
In a similar way to an online transaction, the QR code checkout process draws funds needed for the purchase from the customer's PayPal or Venmo account balance, bank account or from a debit or credit card. The QR code for retail storefronts is being used by many start-ups. Ombori, based in Stockholm, developed its Grid technology, which allows retailers to display QR codes on a digital screen and gives passers-by the ability to buy goods right from the street after viewing their images and videos.