More on the QR/2D Barcodes

A few weeks back, I wrote a piece on 2D barcode scanning and the possibility behind them. Also known as “quick response” (QR), they’re vastly underused in the US. That may be changing soon as San Francisco has been testing them out on around 500 restaurants.

More than 500 restaurants, shops and businesses reviewed by Citysearch are placing printed bar codes in their windows. People who have special software from Scanbuy Inc. loaded on their cell phones can simply take a picture of the code and their phone’s Internet browser will immediately take them to the restaurant’s corresponding Citysearch page.

Users will be able to decide, based on the Citysearch reviews and other information, whether to step inside for dinner or keep walking down the street.

It’s good to see people finding the benefits of such a handy utility. Check out what the senior editor for Citysearch says about it.

“I think it’s the next step for both consumers and businesses,” said Michael Peck, senior editor for Citysearch’s San Francisco guide. “It forms a bridge for window-shopping people. They’ll be walking by a shop or restaurant and want to know what it’s about, but they don’t want to commit to a conversation to find out. This is an easy way to find out.”

Aside from restaurants, we could see this happening with night clubs, hotels, and landmarks and other attractions. How convenient would it be to snap a picture from a movie poster and get the trailer downloaded/streamed to your phone? Playable demo’s from games and other mobile software could be made available by taking a picture of the back of a box or out of a magazine. I’d love to see this type of software implemented into Android as a standard application.

Download the free ScanLife software here and start looking for the quick response codes!

Note: Select outbound links may include affiliate tracking codes. Revenue generated from any potential purchases is used to fund AndroidGuys. Read our policy.



  1. I really like the idea of QR/2D barcodes to tag things like movie posters and magazines. However, tagging physical locations with barcodes like restaurants seems like a waste of time to me, b/c of location bases services are going to take off in a big way very shortly. Why put a barcode on a restaurant that you have to find and take a picture of when your phone knows you’re standing in front of McDonalds? Barcodes might be used for lots of things in the future but physical locations is not one of them. (possibly exceptions might include games like geocaching)

  2. Perhaps throwing a QR/2D picture in a brochure or on a post card might be best for restaurants. Maybe in those books that you get when you are staying at a hotel. Rather than buying into whatever the book says, you could see real feedback from actual customers.

  3. Scanbuy’s indirect resolution process which they use for their proprietary EZcode is infringing on NeoMedia Technologies’ core patents.

    Scanbuy uses the indirect encoding method for their barcode resolution process.

    Indirect encoding (patented by NeoMedia) is the process of linking the target information to an index (364528 for example) and putting that unique identifier into a 1D UPC/EAN or 2D barcode. The code reader on the mobile phone reads the barcode and sends the code data over the Internet to a central resolution server that will tell the mobile phone what action is associated with the index, i.e. access a URL, download media, initiate a phone call, ect.

Comments are closed.