The pros and cons of QR Code ID tags
Could QR Codes (otherwise known as Quick Response Codes) present the next step in property identification?
Whilst the QR code was originally designed for marketing purposes, a number of companies have recently started promoting the use of QR codes on luggage tags. The idea is that the finder of an item of luggage can scan the QR code and easily get in touch with the owner of the property by accessing their information online through the QR code. But what does this offer over a conventional luggage tag?
The primary benefit of using a QR Code tag is that information can be changed and updated as many times as you like. Instead of realising after loosing your bag that your old mobile number is on it, you can simply log onto your account and amend the details attached to your bag even though you have no idea where your bag is (a particular advantage if you’ve also lost your mobile phone!). The primary drawback, at least at present is that these require smartphones to use and that whilst smartphones are popular, not everyone has one. In addition, it is sadly the case for any form of luggage tag, whether QR code or not cannot make the finder a good Samaritan.
Whilst the advantages of luggage tag QR codes may still be yet to fully reveal themselves, another example of QR codes for use as identification demonstrates some more obvious benefits: Pet Tags. We all know cats who disappear for days at a time or get themselves locked in someone else’s greenhouse and dogs that like to leave for an adventure when any opportunity arises. This leads most pet owners to choose to have a collar tag made with their phone number and first line of their address in the assumption that anyone finding their pet will want to abscond themselves of responsibility as soon as possible. But what happens if your pet goes missing having taken them on holiday? Or again if your pet goes missing and you’ve changed your phone number since you had the tag made? We often don’t realise these things until its too late. With a QR code pet tag however, the user will again be able to change information after the pet has gone missing and perhaps most significantly, store several phone numbers or addresses against a QR Code (the same code can be used for several pets too), thereby going far beyond the problem of limited space on conventional pet tags.
Finally, some companies have started to use QR Codes on medical alert tags. Although this does allow a large quantity of information to be accessed readily from a very small source that can be worn at all times without inconvenience, it does again assume that those finding an individual in need of help will have access to a smartphone. Whilst it is yet to be seen whether the use of QR Codes for identification purposes will be taken up on any significant scale, they certainly provide a new an interesting avenue to be explored.