We are used to seeing these black-and-white square images almost everywhere. QR code generators allow us to easily connect people with content and whilst doing so, they collect various data (numeric and alphanumeric information as well as binary data and Kanji characters). There are lots of free QR code generator options out there to make QR codes easy to adopt.

But they don’t look so pretty, do they? QR codes are very inflexible design-wise and can be easily altered making them a security risk. It begs the question; are we tired of scanning and are we over it? Are QR codes dead? Believe it or not, QR codes are only one of the ways to share content. 

Here are five alternatives to QR codes.

Near-Field Communication (NFC)

NFC is a short-range, wireless communication technology. It allows two devices to connect when tapped against each other. You’ll probably experience NFC at least once a day when you tap to make a contactless payment. More expensive to set up than their counterpart and they require a connection to a power source to operate, however, as they are frequently used for payments, they are considered more secure than the QR code. 


Like QR codes, SnapTags are 2D barcodes and need a mobile device to scan them. They are ring-shaped barcodes that are designed around an icon or company logo. They provide more flexibility in terms of design and look much nicer than the black and white square box of a QR code, but due to this design element, are more expensive to set up. Users need to complete additional steps to read the content of the SnapTag or install specific reader apps. 

Google Goggles

Google Goggles is a smartphone app that lets users snap pictures of different items or famous places and then fetches related details about those visuals. Instead of relying on text-based search, it offers an alternative by allowing users to search using images. Google Goggles utilises the extensive database of Google’s search engine to provide thorough information to the user. Nonetheless, this app is relatively recent and may perform best with certain categories of images or objects.

JAB Code

JAB codes are advanced two-dimensional barcodes and present more data storage capacity when contrasted with conventional QR codes, allowing for the encryption of three times the amount of data while preserving the compact size. They also provide more design flexibility as they don’t require a ‘quiet space’ surrounding the barcode and can be created in various sizes and shapes. This works well on labels or packages.

So what do we reckon? Are QR codes dead? The statistics suggest 70% overall growth in QR Code generation between 2023 and 2027.  People are not bored of scanning and despite the ugly design, their data capacities are top-notch and they don’t require a specific QR code scanner, a mobile phone will do. The interest in this tech is surging. In our opinion, QR codes have a long life ahead of them.

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Lovetheidea Team

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