My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: QR Codes and Shopping in South Korea - My Science Project for A Virtual Supermarket

Monday, July 11, 2011

QR Codes and Shopping in South Korea - My Science Project for A Virtual Supermarket

A canner, exceedingly canny,
One morning remarked to his granny,
“A canner can can
Anything that he can
But a canner can’t can a can, can he?”

Carolyn Wells, The Canner

It seems that my blog article on QR Codes entitled “Daqri combines QR Codes with Augmented Reality - Ads and PR Minority Report Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” is wildly popular as from the day of posting online, it has shot up to being number two (2) on my Top 5 Weekly Most Popular Blog Posts. Apparently, there is nascent but growing interest in QR (Quick Response) Codes among Jamaicans, who are just getting hip to this latest trend.

Not to be left out, here is the code for my blog, which I made at the Quick QR website:

I say “just getting hip” as this Sunday July 10th 2011AD, while I was trawling the Sunday Gleaner Newspaper for job posting to apply to, I came across a curious one. It was a position for a Sales Marketing Executive (not in my field; I am Telecoms Engineering!).

But it was the advert’s use of a QR Code was what caught my eye, as it was the only information in the ad. Traditionally, only the Local Telecom Providers, such a Telecom Provider LIME and Telecom Provider Digicel, since last year, have been using QR Codes. So this employment post that featured ONLY a QR Code was quite an interesting surprise!

Apparently, the company advertising the position was effectively saying you had to have a smartphone or a Blackberry, as it might as well be a QR Code with an AR (Augmented Reality) Daqri script (sorry, I couldn’t check!!).

Holographic AR Job postings may be the future of Marketing and Public Relation Posts in the Sunday Newspapers. Heck, possibly even for Work in general in the future, as it is cheaper, being as it saves on advertising costs to just print a small QR Code as opposed to a full spread employment ad.

Human Resources Managers are effectively telling prospective employees that knowledge of Mathematics, the Sciences and Computing was no longer the preserve of Pure and Applied Sciences “Know-it-alls” at UWI, but was now necessary knowledge to even get a job. You have to know how to use a computer in much the same way a soldier is familiar with his M16, and not just sit in front of it, with your blouse open and breasts gulping air, playing Solitaire and typing Microsoft Word Documents all day!

After all, the prospective employees HAVE to be able to DOWNLOAD a QR Reader app to their Blackberry, a skill in itself to even READ QR Codes on your Blackberry or other phones considered smartphones, such as the Apple iPhone or Google Android smartphones.

Rather strange bit of coincidence, that job advert! This as it is the aftermath of not only my blog post that predicted the demise of Public Relations and Marketing by Social Networks above, but also my Geezam blog article entitled “Social Media Marketing – Advertising and Marketing in Ja on a Shoe-String” that spoke of the emergence of Social Media Marketing as the new Paradigm in Advertising and Marketing.

Within that article on Daqri, I also had also referenced another article in The Jamaica Observer on QR Codes entitled Revolutionary Marketing - Creative ways to use QR Codes in business”, published Sunday, July 03, 2011, The Jamaica Observer. This article is the work of Internet Marketing Consultant Wayne Marsh (such people actually exist in Jamaica?).

More of his handiwork can be seen at his website E-Business Solutions Limited.

I made reference to it, as it was chock full of suggested implementations for QR Codes, the above posting in the Sunday Gleaner dated Sunday July 10th 2011AD being a simple example. One of Internet Marketing Consultant Wayne Marsh mentioned ideas in his article was the use of QR Codes to grant Discount Coupons via a smartphone QR Code Reader. 

This sounds a lot like a suggestion I had made with regards to monetizing the Color Social Network, which is basically a Proximity Geo-Location Augmented Reality Photo Sharing Social Network (note to self: need to shorten that!!) as chronicled in my blog article entitled “Color Social Network & Valpak Virtual Coupons - Augmented View's True Colours” using ValPak Augmented Reality coupons sans QR Codes.

Heck, even the Newspaper itself, in its entirety, may be delivered via a single QR Code in an alternative Mash-up with Google News, a service I described in my blog article entitled “Geo-Location Rise and Google News - Vybz Kartel's News Minority Report Color-ing Book

So what if instead of just coupons, be they virtual or printed, which in itself is an old fashioned concept, you could just skip to buying the product and possibly even getting the discount directly from the store via QR Codes!

Tesco, a British Supermarket Giant that has rebranded itself as Home Plus in face of sagging sales and stiff competition in South Korea, does just that, allowing subway commuters in South Korea to scan QR Codes of lifelike pictorial representations of products at Subway Stations as shown below.

South Koreans, often about their busy lives in the city, purchase their groceries via QR Codes and have them delivered to their house as stated in the article “South Korean supermarket chain opens virtual grocery stores in subways”, published JULY 7, 2011 JEFFREY VAN CAMP, Digital Trends.

Would something like this work in Jamaica?

Most definitely, as straight off the bat, this would be a clever business concept for a virtual Supermarket which delivers its products directly to its consumer’s homes in Jamaica. Possibly offering free local delivery of an equivalent nature to the free shipping offered by Amazon’s subsidiary Quidsi in their latest outing,

Which is similar, except it delivers pet related items as stated in my blog article entitled “Amazon's Social Network for Pets - Quidsi in the Flight of the Navigator

So my idea solidifies: A Virtual Supermarket, with only warehousing both room temperature and Cold Storage that delivers products to your doorstep with the aid of Robotics (wishful thinking there!!) for free and you only have to scan a QR Code and make the purchase right then and there on your mobile phone.

Possibly the purchase is done via Scotia Banks Mobile Banking Facility or even Mozido Jamaica Limited possible implementation of Google Wallet in Jamaica for Remittances as stated in my blog article entitled “Mozido Jamaica Limited and Mobile Payments - Plants and Zombies say the Gods must be Crazy”.

So to Local Jamaica Investors or any FDI (Foreign Direct Investors): Virtual Reality Supermarket powered by QR Codes, anyone, being as it is My Science Project (1985)?

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