The QR Code Generation Seen Through Google Goggles

Written by Michael Whittington

It seems like every few months there’s yet another trending mobile marketing blog titled something along the lines of “Move Over, QR Codes.” There is always some new mobile marketing platform that’s ready to knock the QR code off its throne but like I said months and months and months ago, each one has its quirks as well as its flaws. For example, Near Field Communication (or NFC) doesn’t require scanning, but it only works in a sometimes unbearably close proximity whereas if you need people to scan your QR code from farther away you can just make it bigger. True, QR codes have many limitations themselves, but they were at the helm of this movement. We often reject the new when we’re not done with the old. Unless, of course, there is enough support for it.

Now, suddenly, a new challenger steps into the arena and the mobile marketing software showdown continues. Though it might strike fear into the hearts of the QR code generation, this one looks the most promising yet. Meet Google Goggles. Unlike the other competitors, and I say competitors loosely – you’ll understand why in a moment, Google Goggles doesn’t require a static code or point from which to receive data. Rather it’s an encyclopedia with eyes. You can point it at a building and it will tell you about the building, point it at a car – even just the interior – and it will tell you what type of car it is and plenty of other useful information. Check out the following video for an introduction to the mobile marketing platform.

Google Goggles has other functions as well. One insanely cool feature is that it can solve Sudoku puzzles. I’ve been somewhat addicted to these Japanese imports for years. They’re a great time waster that also keeps the mind sharp. Fortunately, I’ll never have to think again. I can just have my phone do all the work for me. It’s also a great way to cheat during a speed-Sudoku contest (see the video below).

The reason I say Google Goggles isn’t a competitor to QR codes, per se, is because the application is actually capable of scanning QR codes. It doesn’t discredit them or make them obsolete. It just does more. If anything, it is a competitor to the mobile marketing software out there – applications like BeeTagg and Barcode Scanner. Google’s even in the process of developing a product called the Google Glass which utilizes the same software but doesn’t require a smart phone. Also they’ll make you feel like Tony Stark. Unfortunately, as of June 19 of this year, the technology required to make Google Glass costs around $3000, which, as Google’s Thad Starner admits, is not a price most consumers are willing to pay. However the costs drop as we get smarter and learn how to develop our technology cheaper. So let’s not allow our phones to solve all our Sudoku puzzles for us quite yet, okay?

What do you think? Is Google Goggles looking to overthrow QR codes or will the mobile marketing platform simply work with them? Here’s one more video that might spark some hypotheses.

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