... hyperlinks are now making their natural migration from desktop monitors to objects in the real world. We no longer need to be tethered to a desktop computer in order to use the internet to interact with the world around us. When you see something that you want information about, you no longer have to make a mental note to look it up later on Google. You can simply point your smartphone at the object and obtain the desired information without typing or speaking. In essence, the QR code has become the shortest distance between curiosity and information retrieval.
The beauty of QR codes is that they are an open-source and freely licensed standard. They cost nothing additional to add to printed materials and can be scanned by free readers on all smartphones and even some feature phones.
There is a lot of buzz surrounding QR codes yet some wonder why they are not more popular or better known. Hamilton makes an astute observation:
Given our late adopter culture, tech trends should be expected to take a while here in the U.S. CDs were popular in Asia long before they made a dent in America. The same was true of DVDs, mobile phones, and now QR codes. Given this predisposition, the only way forward for any new technology is to be relentless in providing inherent value and easy uptake. By experimenting with QR codes early, advertisers can become adept at engaging with users on a mobile basis, so that when QR codes do hit the mainstream, they will be ready.
In the comment section on this opinion piece, several people where surprised that more people didn't know what QR codes are. The majority of the people I interact with daily (very bright financial professionals within an age range of 24 - 50) have no idea what a QR code is or how to use it. They are all tech-savvy. So, there are lots and lots of bright people who haven't heard or paid attention to this technology.
Because you've read this far, you can now say that you're not one of them. Consider how a QR code might work for you and your practice (or at least you personally).
To help, here is a good overview from Sundance Marketing Solutions. (Download a QR code scanner, and try the technology out on the QR codes on the "Questions" slide in this presentation. I think this is the easiest use of QR codes for professional service firms.)