In the past two years, the popularity of QR Codes has increased by fourfold. These square grids are now being embraced by businesses all over the world as the marketing geniuses that they are. There are QR Code solutions for everything, as seen by the inventive ways people are using them in their artwork, advertising campaigns, and even drone lighting performances.
Here's the fun part: we'll also be taking you on a journey around the world to uncover the distinctive ways different countries have used these two-dimensional barcodes. In this article, we'll be looking at QR Code usage by country. Are you prepared to go on a global QR Code journey? Put your seatbelts on, and start the tour!
Which nations utilize QR codes?
Between 2018 and 2020, the use of QR Code technology increased by 96%. The QR Code is now widely used in China, India, Vietnam, Singapore, the Philippines, Italy, France, Spain, Germany, the US, Canada, Brazil, Australia, Ireland, and the UK.
Even though there have been ups and downs for these black and white squares, growing pains are quite normal and even expected. They are currently in their peak and don't appear to be going anywhere anytime soon. So why are QR Codes so widely used today?
Access to Digital payments is improved.
Globally, businesses are abandoning cash. They are choosing contactless payments with QR Codes because they enable seamless in-store and online customer experiences across numerous industries.
Early adopters of using QR Codes for payments were China and India, but we can anticipate that the practice will spread globally: it is anticipated that global QR Code-based payments would increase from $2.4 trillion in 2022 to $3 trillion by 2025. As a result, more countries will undoubtedly use QR Codes. The cashless society is here to stay!
The rise in smartphone usage
Although smartphone ownership varies in more developing nations, it is still on the increase, and QR Code acceptance is increasing as a result.
Smartphone ownership has evolved along with mobile device development. In other words, with the iOS11 upgrade in 2017, cellphones have become more sophisticated.
This made it simpler to scan black and white photos on everything from a large QR Code on a drone in the sky to a little QR Code business card thanks to a native QR Code scanner that users could utilize. This scanner can read on a camera or a third-party software.
Increased royalty programs
Consumers appreciate coupons for a number of enticing reasons, including their desire to save money and the fact that receiving a discount often makes them happy.
Even better is that using a Coupon QR Code to redeem coupons is now simple and convenient thanks to QR Code technology. It also comes at a good moment, as estimates indicate that by 2022, 5.3 billion QR Code coupons will have been redeemed via mobile devices. More QR Code coupons lead to more sales, so businesses have nothing to lose!
An investigation on the seven countries' use of QR codes
But enough about the data—you were promised a trip around the globe with QR Codes, and there are now 7 destinations planned! So let's move on to our first stop without further ado. America is the first stop.
We have arrived at the region known for its beautiful scenery, the location of Super Bowl Sunday, and the center of the entertainment industry. It's not difficult to guess why QR Code popularity has exploded in the US given that 81% of adults there own a smartphone. More scanning, more access.
Recent QR codes from NASA, the renowned space organization, drew our attention. To celebrate Earth Day, they whipped up something unique for all of us inhabitants of the planet: a poster that is a work of art in its own right.
But it wasn't a typical show; rather, it was one with just a hint of creativity to signal that we were there to honor our favorite blue ball.
The really captivating poster from this year has 17 QR Codes dispersed throughout, creating a route map. Each tile has a unique number that reveals a hidden clue that can only be accessed through scanning.
The virtual poster that replaces paper and the QR Codes that allow for interactive learning for everyone on board are just two examples of how carefully thought out the poster's entire design concept is. You're going to embark on an informative road trip about climate science and NASA's planet if you scan the codes.
Users can access both videos and website URLs with the embedded QR Codes. In fact, there are two solutions to these tiny squares that we are aware of: a Dynamic URL QR Code and a Video QR Code. NASA did a fantastic job this year. Brava!
NASA’s Earth Day Poster has 17 future-forward QR Codes. Source: Twitter
India, a country with expansive vistas, spicy curries, and tea and spice plantations, has welcomed the widespread usage of the square grid. The Siddhartha College of Arts and Sciences' usage of QR Codes as an educational aid in the botany department stands out to us as one of the unusual use-cases.
In the botanical gardens, the professors made the decision to scatter tiny pixelated squares amid the plants and foliage. Since students are already overloaded with information, this novel approach promotes their learning by providing them with a new way to process it.
Students discover the scientific name and therapeutic benefits of the plant or tree after it is scanned. This scan-to-learn approach is a great combination for immersive learning since it brings students closer to the information's source rather than having them bury their heads in textbooks.
The fieldwork impact provides them experiences outside of the classroom so that anyone passing by can increase their understanding of plants with only a quick scan. Visit our article on using a QR Code for school or our blog on using QR Codes in the classroom for additional information on technology and education. Take off for our next destination, Brazil.
The Hindu tweets about how students learn about plants and trees via QR Codes. Source: Twitter
Brazil is a show-stopper as you enter the country of spectacular natural beauties, joyful festivals, and grandiose architecture. Even the appearance of QR Codes was improved by this breathtakingly beautiful nation, who used mosaic tiles to make them appear as sophisticated as ever. These tiles certainly tell a story.
To share the rich heritage of Brazil, Rio de Janeiro has etched QR Codes onto its mosaic tiles for use on city streets. At Arpoador, a boulder near the end of Ipanema Beach, a surfers' haven famed for riding the best waves, you may find one of the first QR Codes engraved into the earth.
By reading the code, you can learn information about the origins of the rocks and the shore, bringing beach geology to life. Trust us when we say that you absolutely must scan! By incorporating these black and white patterns into the streets, common pavements have been transformed into historical records.
Visit our website for additional useful information to find out how employing a QR Code for travel helps the tourism sector. Let's now move toward the island of Great Britain in the north.
The UK (United Kingdom)
We know it's a little unfair because the UK is actually three and a half sovereign states together, but we couldn't help ourselves. If you venture into the state of Scotland, Wales, England, and Northern Island, you will discover that the UK is infamous for its prolific writers, top-tier pop performers, and ardent sports innovators.
They were latecomers to the four-sided grid but soon caught up with the times. The Beatson Cancer Charity's fundraising is a recent QR Code concept that caught our attention. They formed a dream team with Good Thyngs, a digital fundraising platform, in order to increase the number of donors they could reach and engage them in various ways.
A Beatson Reward card with discounts on hotels, spas, restaurants, and more was the enticing reward system that Beatson offered to their annual supporters. Even the Beatson reward card has a unique feature: a QR Code that may be scanned to have fun.
The QR Vouchers make it simple for donors to rapidly access discount codes so they can get their well-deserved reward—all for a good cause! Want to learn more about making a QR Code for donations? Visit our page now. Spain is up next.
Beatson team campaigning their new Beatson reward cards. Source: Twitter
Spain is a hotspot for culture and is home to Flamenco, siestas, and a gastronomic heaven. The artistic city of Barcelona is where one of the most noteworthy inventive uses of QR Codes was developed.
A smart idea was developed by Barcelona's primary public transportation provider, Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona (TMB), to make it easier for the blind and visually handicapped to move around the city.
To develop inclusive digital signage, TMB collaborated with the Mobile Vision Lab of the University of Alicante and the business Navilens. The result is a multicolored sticker design that employs QR Codes to instantly inform people with an auditory message.
Even while the user is moving about, people with impaired vision and the blind can use their smartphones to detect QR Codes from 15 meters away. The NaviLens app instantly detects the code, vibrating and playing an audio message to warn the user.
For those who are blind or visually handicapped, this navigation device can let them explore the city more independently and with greater assurance.
These auditory maps make inclusive and accessible areas available to the blind and partially sighted thanks to augmented reality and QR Code technology, enabling everyone to safely explore the city.
Visit our page to find out more about how QR Code stickers function. Germany is the next stop.
A next-level pixelated-multicolored square helping the visually impaired to navigate public transport. Source: Twitter
We approach the country of bread and beer, fairytale towns, and technological advancement just a whiff away from Spain. It turns out that since 2010, Germany has been setting the pace for QR Code use in Europe, and there is no end in sight to this upward trend.
A recent ad named "Gaffen Tötet," which translates to "Gawking Kills," is one we'd like to highlight using QR codes. The campaign raises awareness of a recent rule that forbids witnesses to accidents from recording film in emergency situations. The law was passed in January 2021.
A German ambulance service, Johanniter-Unfall-Hilfe, put QR Codes on their ambulances and Emergency Medical Service (EMS) equipment to raise awareness of the new rule as well as to stop onlookers from interfering with medical situations.
Any spectators who aim their cameras towards the code will immediately be redirected to a webpage warning message that reads: "Stop! Gawking is deadly! Although the message may seem urgent and important, the punishment for this offence is a 2-year prison sentence. The initiative has so far been effective in deterring unauthorized photography during emergencies.
Exquisitely designed QR Codes placed on medical emergency equipment. Source: Twitter
Without seeing the Orient, what is a roundabout journey? China, a technological superpower and the country of pandas, chopsticks, and the mythical dragon, has embraced QR Codes as part of everyday life.
Unquestionably, China is renowned for stunning the world with massive advertising efforts that capture attention around the world.
Even though this is not a contemporary QR Code use case, it is nevertheless a striking illustration of China's love with QR Codes. China used 400 hundred scannable, pixelated squares to illuminate a corridor in a mall. Shoppers were drawn in by the glowing QR Codes that lined the tunnel's four sides.
It was claimed in the Xinhua TV news that Nanjing's illuminated tunnel of squares projected an image of sophisticated technology and attracted younger clients. According to a news article, these 400 eager QR Codes were a part of an effort in China to promote well-known companies and imaginative video games. We can work with this kind of tunnel vision now!
This QR Code tunnel's creative futuristic design can increase foot traffic to both online and physical stores, boosting brand exposure and sales. The future of retail is being marked by a shop QR Code in malls; keep an eye on this space.
A tunnel covered from head to toe with 400 symmetrical QR Codes. Source: Twitter
Looking into QR Code usage by nation reveals that every nation has a distinctive take on it. These symmetrical squares may shapeshift into anything, both virtual and non-virtual, and can be utilized for instruction, promotion, or awareness raising. There is a never-ending list of QR Code ideas to add to your itinerary, no matter how far and broad you travel. Once you contract the QR Code bug, there is no recovering.
Source: iCheck Corporation