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Time to Reinvent the QR Code?

February 10 2011

qr code upcI finally got the kids to sleep for the night and was settling in to work on some content for The Hip RoofThe Hip Roof, when I stopped by Facebook to post a note to a friend about a TV appearance they made that was buzzing on Twitter, and I was hijacked by an ad.

In the exact same place I saw the QR code ad last week there was a "UPC" – Universal Property Code, as the company is calling it. Stop, reverse, let's check this out. So I clicked through and was taken to their site, where I read, and I attempted to scan their "UPC" code. My QR scanner, which comes in the Blackberry Messenger, is supposed to be a 'universal' reader – couldn't read this code. I look a little further on their page and discover I need their app for Android or iPhone to read their code.

QR code tryitoutWhat I am trying to figure out is why did they need to reinvent the wheel? What is their "secret sauce" that is making their product better? Digging deeper I can see that in some fashion a buyer who is scanning it can then "text to the agent" as long as the agent provided a cell phone number. So then I ask, where is the simplification over the universal QR code and reader? I can have my cell on my rider, or a text code set up, but instead let's add another step?

I read their FAQ, beside the chuckle at the "5 for $5, each additional for $1 with no limit." Look for yourself:


Read it, what a deal...

I didn't find anything that set them apart from any other QR code company. Are they capturing the lead information? Are they gaining the agent any chance of contact unless initiated by the buyer? I don't see it. I dug through their site and tried to figure out what the big point of distinction is, and I can't see it. Other than they recreated the proverbial wheel.

Am I missing something? Yup, a QR code on a name rider that can be assigned to an individual property, great idea, but again – what does it save anyone? You still need to get out of the car and be within 12 inches of the UPC (the site says so), you need enough light for the scanner to work, you can't do it from a Blackberry. So what am I missing?

And wouldn't the term UPC be trademarked by someone? #justsayin