We are all starting to see the square, scannable QR codes on billboards, advertisements, etc.
I have been increasingly thinking that this standard will not last long.
My logic is this: Any handheld device that has the power and ability to process QR codes basically has the ability to do regular optical character recognition on any snapshot taken by its input device.
Therefore, any possible use of a QR code could be implemented more nicely, and with less ugliness, by simply placing the alphanumeric text of a URL or any other identifier, and placing a nice easily-recognized standardized logo next to it which basically means "scan me!"
Whereas, using the square QR code is butt-ugly, and more importantly, requires the person posting the code to go to some app to generate the code.
Isn't it more flexible and future-oriented to simply embrace that very very strong OCR abilities are among us and QR codes will be left in the dust? There are already apps that look at a photograph, scan for text, translate the text into spanish, and then paste that translated text into the image IN THEIR ORIGINAL FONT SIZE. Doesn't that leave QR in the dust?
I can think of one argument that QR has going for it: I read that one code can represent 4200 alphanumeric characters. Clearly, for uses that NEED that much data in the code, it is nicer to scan a square code than 7-8 full paragraphs of text! However, I cannot think of any use cases for a QR code to hold large amounts of data like that -- all of the uses I have seen for it have been to hold a unique identifier (like a URL) which then takes the user to a location with the fuller data. And as URL shorteners show us, a unique identifier can be tiny tiny tiny and still get you to access the gazillions of locations on the web, for example. So, for part two of this question, I'm interested to hear which use cases for QR would involve representing more than roughly URL-length content.