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Google Discontinues QR Code Support in Places, Bets on NFC



Google has officially ended support for the square-shaped QR codes used to contain additional information that users can look up through the company’s Google Places portal. The search giant has deemed that QR codes were not as effective as the company had originally envisioned, and the move could be seen as paving way for a greater push with integrated NFC, or near field communications, technology that Google has launched with the Android 2.3 Gingerbread-enabled Samsung-made Nexus S smartphone.

In its old form, QR codes contained additional information about local places, including prior customers’ comments and reviews. Users interested in viewing that information could pull out a smartphone and scan the QR code using the phone’s camera to search and retrieve the value-added information. Because the technology required the appropriate app–usually a free download from a smartphone’s app store–and the active participation of the user to launch the app, scan the code, and wait for the search results to be retrieved, the success of integrating QR codes as a link between Google and the local destination was seen as limited.

In a note to blog Blumenthals, Google says, “Users will no longer find unique QR codes in their Places accounts. We’re exploring new ways to enable customers to quickly and easily find information about local businesses from their mobile phones.”

The push behind NFC support may help increase usage behind local search as users will no longer need to actively participate in the process–no more app or scanner tool to download and no more scanning and waiting for results. Instead, users can just wave their NFC-enabled phone in front of an NFC terminal and the information will be wirelessly conveyed to the phone.

Additionally, NFC support may provide an untapped revenue stream for the search giant as well. With NFC being eyed as the technology of choice by many banks, credit cards and electronic commerce companies, smartphone-makers, and other partners for digital wallets and mobile payment mechanisms, Google’s early adoption and implementation of an NFC payment mechanism can provide Google with added income in terms of transaction fees similar to those accessed by credit card companies to merchants when customers swipe their plastic cards. Additionally, by combining local advertising, perhaps, with Google Places, Google may find additional ways to monetize its efforts.



  1. Dave McLoughlin

    03/31/2011 at 1:35 pm

    It is very difficult to imagine that this is the death of the QR Code.

    It just makes things so much more confusing for the tech world, with many different products that can communicate with devices.

    The QR Code is becoming ubitqious.

    When has anything other than Google’s search engine ever become ubitiquious?

  2. Dave McLoughlin

    03/31/2011 at 1:36 pm

    other than Android…

  3. QR Code Marketing

    03/31/2011 at 1:44 pm

    I do see NFC as a better way to process payments, but in terms of marketing I think QR Codes will continue to grow in popularity.

  4. Patrick Donnelly

    03/31/2011 at 3:37 pm

    I believe these can coexist.

  5. Mikey

    04/01/2011 at 8:57 pm

    QR codes are not dead. In fact they are thriving. The increase of QR codes has been rising exponentially. Google may not see QR codes as a prioirity to other application they are working on but there is continued education and acceptance of QR codes in several industries such as real estate, consumer goods, etc. It is a great tool to store your contact info too. It has been used for payments as well.

    You should try to use a dynamic qr code generator that allows you to update your info in the code later without changing the code itself. Also, make sure you use a platform that provides real-time analytics.

    Check out for free dynamic qr code generator with free analytics.

  6. Tim_123

    02/27/2012 at 7:38 pm

    QR Code is really a great stuff. this tech brought us so many convenience. Here is a  web site I always visite. It’s really easy to use and efficient.just follow me.

  7. QR InfoPoint

    04/09/2017 at 5:40 am

    try : you can create QR Codes with video,audio, image, doc,pdf, HTML+CSS, …

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