Better advice needed in Whitehall?
Friday 29 May, 2015

Politicians and technology rarely mix. OK, so Barrack Obama did great things with social media during his inaugural election which helped sway young voters into action, but on the whole the political classes rarely understand the intricacies of the World Wide Web.

And why would they? After all, they’ve got people to do that for them.

So it was no surprise to us that earlier this month energy and climate change minister Ed Davey described QR codes as the ‘latest technology’.

In fairness to him, he was talking about an initiative to help people compare energy tariffs as easily as possible, and change if they found a better deal.

Mr Davey’s idea was to include a QR Code on all energy bills that links to a website giving people details of how their tariff compares to the rest of the market.

It is a laudable idea, and is at least a recognition by the government that printed material needs to be interactive. But it is his description of QR codes that has raised eyebrows around the Eon Visual Media office.

Sadly, Mr Davey is 20 years too late. QR codes were invented in 1994 to track the movement of vehicles during manufacture and their reception and uptake by modern marketers, except for some unsuccessful experimentation in the early years, has been lukewarm at best.

Don’t get us wrong, they have their uses. Indeed, we are employing them on a project we’re currently involved with because in that instance they are the right solution.

But interactive print has moved on so much that far more elegant solutions now exist – solutions that would be easier for consumers to use and give them a much richer experience.


So with that in mind, if as a country we have ambitions to be a world leader in the digital sector, and we certainly think that should be the case, perhaps when it comes to technology it is time Mr Davey and his colleagues changed their advisors. 

SmartPicture @SmartPictureApp
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