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Blippar: Not A QR Replacement

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Blippar: Not A QR Replacement

I’ve just heard of Blippar – thanks to General Mills’ Count Chocula! I decided to research it since I hadn’t heard of it yet. Apparently it’s an Augmented Reality app, generally used for marketing and consumer interaction. Several sites even compared Blippar to QR codes… uhh, excuse me?!

There are some huge differences between Augmented Reality and QR codes!

QR codes:

  • High data capacity
  • Can be incredibly small
  • Error Correction – allowing it to be read even if damaged or from a difficult angle
  • Can be read without internet access – all data is encoded in the QR code itself

These features make QR codes extremely useful for inventory tracking, sharing URLs and contact information, and suitable for more environments.

Blippar:

  • Used mainly by consumer product companies to allow the consumer to interact with the company through an impressive medium
  • Requires internet access to process the scans
  • No data is actually stored on the images that are scanned using the app

This makes Blippar a great tool for impressing your audience, but there’s no real utility. If image recognition were reliable enough, QR codes wouldn’t have had any practical use in the world today.

Blippar tried to slam QR codes, and in my opinion, they failed.

Via Blippar’s corporate blog:

At the end of the day, they [QR codes] are just weblinks – something that Blippar can absolutely enable (and 10 weblinks if you so desire, off a single image, as opposed to one per ‘scan’) …

(The link does not seem to work anymore, but I will leave it for your reference: https://corporate-alpha.blippar.com/en/blog/30-why-were-anti-qr-association)

Can they be any more wrong? QR codes are bytes of data directly encoded in a visual format! They can fit several URLs data-wise, and there are no limitations to the types of data that can be shared using QR codes. 4296 characters are enough for sharing recipes, tracking packages, sharing contact information, taking you to an app and interacting with it, and even placing phone calls.

Apples are being compared to oranges here. Blippar is an app. QR codes are a format. We’re going to recognize that one takes an image and does something with it. The other puts a code out for everyone to decide what they want to do with it. The innovative option is the one which lets the market/user base develop itself.