Making QR codes more useful

In January this year, I wrote about ICON and its potential use of QR codes for asset management. One US-based company is already providing this service, I hear. Syed Ali, CEO of EZOfficeInventory, has been in contact, highlighting the value of a web-based delegated model where everyone plays a role in updating and verifying information on a regular basis. It supports both fixed assets and inventory.

EZOfficeInventory logoEZOfficeInventory, based in Carson City, Nevada, offers an affordable Software-as-a-Service solution that can be accessed via a browser interface or via smartphone apps – both iPhone and Android are already supported (helping avoid the need for separate scanner devices). Their mobile focus did initially mean the company had to manage three implementations, but Syed says: “We have just incorporated ‘Responsive Design‘. This ensures we can now build and deploy new features in one go to all platforms – eg: iPhone, Android, tablets, desktops, etc.”

Making QR codes useful

It’s easy to forget that QR codes can be easily repurposed so that, when scanned, the end-user is directed to whatever information the originator wants him or her to see. For asset management, for example, users might see the asset’s record, but if an item got lost, the webpage could be changed. EZOfficeInventory’s blog describes how this might be used to help recover an item:

For normal inventory tracking EZOfficeInventory has always allowed direct access to data for logged in users who scan QRCodes. But what about assets that get lost and are found by a stranger. Chances of a stranger returning a lost item are slim to none when an item is found in an open environment eg a food court, a mall’s restroom etc.

Likely reasons for this being that most individuals would assume the original owner will return and find the item where they last placed it or that the hassle of tracking down the original owner to be too much. But WHAT IF QRcodes could be updated to display information such as “Oh Great, you just found our lost laptop. Please call 1408-xxx-xxxx and we’ll be really happy!”. Or how about, “This is the property of ABC corp and is NOT for resale, please contact us at …. to return”.

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