QR Codes Will Be Gone in Ten Years Says Its Inventor

June 20, 2014         By: Kevin Xu

QR codes, which power a number of mobile payment solutions, may go the way of Betamax according to its inventor.

Masahiro Hara invented quick Response (QR) codes in 1994, with the goal of transmitting information through image scanning.

Thanks to the rise of smartphones and the shrinking size and price of cameras, QR codes have taken off as a method for payments internationally, while they remain somewhat of a quirk for viral marketing tactics and advertising domestically.

Hara told The Telegraph that “Nowadays everyone is capable of reading the QR code. Nowadays it is actually being used to enter personal information, your own personal data. So it is important that we also look into the area of security… we do have secure QR code which is capable of distinguishing: you have a certain amount of information that you want to share with everyone, and a certain amount that you want to keep. That nowadays is being looked at in Japan.”

QR codes have seen a range of improvements through its 20 years, but Hara mentions that he believes that Near Field Communication and better image recognition will supplant the QR codes’ role.

International payment companies such as China’s Alibaba and Tencent were forced to stop facilitating payments through QR codes due to security concerns from the Chinese government.

QR codes were barred from use in China in March, and it may lead both international and domestic payment companies to become increasingly technology agnostic.