Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Why QR codes are better than image recognition for 'most' purposes

I was trying to explain to someone today why QR codes are a much better way to hyperlink objects over image recognition.

Image recognition is NOT a good solution as there are no indications if an item IS scannable or IS NOT in the database.

The way i explain it is no one needs instruction when you walk up to a door, you instinctively know, reach over-turn the handle-pull or push the door-walk through.

When was the last time someone had to explain to you how to open a door?



  1. But wouldn't optical character recognition of a URL via a mobile app be preferable to QR? If you have a QR code in your ad, you'll usually have the URL there anyway. And it's in English.

  2. Sure, an app that "launches" your mobiles browser and takes you to the url in the camera viewfinder for any url your focus on makes sense (thats actually a good idea for an app - though would make sense to be "built in" to a mobile browser rather than a paid for standalone app).

    However image recognition in this instance means point it at a magazine ad and some are "recognition enabled" to take you to the url of BMW etc - BUT my point was unless every magazine ad, billboard, cd cover, etc is stored in the database people wont know which ones do and dont have image recognition.

    With QR codes you dont have that problem, everyone recognises that the square boxes means snap this (eg the doorknob) and then you will get more contextual information (right mouse click/door open) it may be a url but also could be text, video, audio etc.

    Check out www.Cognation.net/QR for more.

  3. I agree Dean.

    I think that the flip side of it will be image recognition for search purposes though- considering the fact that search engines only index by text today but will index by images through image-recognition technology and eventually be able to understand what video is when it comes to indexing.

  4. hi Dan,
    Sure but who apart from Google could afford to index every item in the world in order for the visual search to work?